Tag Archives: Aitken Spence PLC

TUI CEO Visits Heritance Negombo

4 Mar

DHS Jayawardena with Fritz Joussen at Heritance Negombo

TUI Group CEO Fritz Joussen accompanied by other TUI top-level executives visited Heritance Negombo on Thursday. The 139-room hotel is the latest hotel investment by Aitken Spence in Sri Lanka, which is to open in April 2016.

The high profile team from TUI, the world’s largest integrated tourism group, included the CEO of TUI Germany, Managing Director of Product and Purchasing, CEO of TUI Nordic and Managing Director of TUI UK and Ireland . The TUI executives were welcomed by Aitken Spence Chairman Deshamanya D H S Jayawardena, Deputy Chairman J M S Brito and Head of Leisure/Director Stasshani Jayawardena.

The historic visit is organized by TUI’s joint venture partner in Sri Lanka Aitken Spence Travels.

Visiting Heritance Negombo

 

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Hapag-Lloyd Lanka Walks Away with Best Customer Service Award at 22nd ICS Awards

27 Feb
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Mr. Russell Diaz, Assistant General Manager – Hapag Lloyd Lanka receiving the award

Hapag-Lloyd Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, a subsidiary of Aitken Spence PLC and the local representation of German operator Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten was awarded the “Best Customer Service” laurel for the Europe sector at the recently concluded awards ceremony organized by the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers – UK (Sri Lanka branch). The win comes following a similar achievement at the previous year’s ceremony, where Hapag-Lloyd Lanka won the award for the US sector.

The ceremony which was held in Colombo on the 19th of February marked the 22nd installment of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) awards. The ICS founded in London back in 1911, received the Royal Charter in 1921 and is a body fundamentally dedicated towards the promotion of professionalism in the international maritime industry through shipping education and training.

Fourteen shipping lines vied for the awards and Hapag-Lloyd Lanka walked away with one of the most lucrative awards. On behalf of Hapag-Lloyd Lanka, Russell Diaz, Assistant General Manager – Hapag-Lloyd Lanka received the award from Chief Guest – Hon. Karu Jayasuria, Speaker of Parliament. The ceremony was graced by many dignitaries including Hon. Arjuna Ranatunga, Minister of Ports and Shipping alongside Hon. Eran Wickramaratne, Minister of Public Enterprises and Development.

Aitken Spence Records Rs. 1.1bn as PBT in Third Quarter

13 Feb

Aitkenspence head office

Leading conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC posted its interim results to the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE) released on Friday. The blue-chip’s financial results for the quarter ended 31st December 2015 saw profit-before-tax decrease by 25.3 per cent to Rs. 1.1 bn while profit attributable to equity holders decreased by 26.7 per cent to Rs. 637 mn. Revenue for the quarter fell by 14.6 per cent to Rs. 6.7 bn.

The diversified group’s nine-month results showed profit-before-tax decreasing by 28.3 per cent to Rs. 2.6bn and profit attributable to shareholders falling by 35.4 per cent to Rs. 1.4 bn, while revenue dropped by 28.2 per cent to Rs. 18.6 bn.

The revenue loss from the cessation of the power purchase agreement of Ace Power Embilipitiya in April 2015 had a significant effect on the results. Other Operating Income for the 9 months to 31st December 2014 included insurance income of Rs 351m for the fire damage at a resort in Maldvies during 2013/14.

“Diminished returns from the Maldives due to external factors and consolidation of hotel investments in Sri Lanka, negatively affected the returns from the tourism sector”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

The Group’s Hotels arm recently completed a 100-room extension to its beach property in Kalutara, which is now a 200-room upgraded resort. In addition, the company is currently overseeing two large hotel projects in Negombo and Ahungalla.

Aitken Spence operates a wide portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman. Its travel arm, the largest in Sri Lanka, is a joint venture with TUI Travel. It also acts as GSA for major airlines in Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

“We are pleased to report increase in profits from companies in the port management, ship agency and airline sub sectors contributed towards the profits of the Maritime & Logistics Sector.” Mr. Brito added.

Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest integrated logistics services provider and has port management services in Africa and the South Pacific.

Depreciation of the Rupee has adversely affected company due to foreign currency loans obtained for overseas investments.

The company was also significantly affected by the substantial Super Gain Tax paid during the quarter ended 31st December 2015, as per the provisions of part III of the Finance Act No. 10 of 2015.

Subsequent to the balance sheet date, Aitken Spence PLC after obtaining all relevant approvals purchased a 20% shareholding in Fiji Ports Corporation Limited. The company which was previously wholly owned by the Government of the Republic of Fiji owns and manages all ports in Fiji.

Aitken Spence Hotels International (Pvt) Ltd., a subsidiary company, entered into an agreement to acquire Al Falaj Hotel in Oman from Oman Hotel and Tourism Co., subject to obtaining all relevant approvals. Al Falaj Hotel has been under management of Aitken Spence since 2008.

Aitken Spence Partners SriLankan Airlines to Promote Sri Lanka across India

18 Jan
Mr. Suranga Ratnayake General Manager Aitken Spence Travels & Mr. Chinthaka Weerasinghe, Manager Noth India flanked by so

Mr. Suranga Ratnayake General Manager Aitken Spence Travels & Mr. Chinthaka Weerasinghe, Manager North India flanked by some of the Top Travel agents during the presentation

Aitken Spence Travels, Turyaa Kalutara and SriLankan Holidays have joined hands to launch a promotional campaign across several cities in India to attract more tourists to Sri Lanka. The campaign will consist of cinema and TV advertising, as well as presentations to key agents covering all the main cities.

Aitken Spence Travels is the largest tour operator bringing in over 120,000 tourists to Sri Lanka. SriLankan Airlines flies to 7 destinations in India. The 200-room Turyaa Kalutara is the latest property opened by Sri Lanka’s largest resort operator, Aitken Spence Hotels.

The campaign will break and coincide with the Thai Pongal festival on TV and on 50 Cinema locations in major cities and states such as Mumbai, Karnataka, Bangalore, Tamil Nadu, Chennai, West Bengal, Kolkata, Delhi, Kerala and Cochin.

Aitken Spence Travels has developed two exclusive travel packages, namely ‘The Best of Sri Lanka’ and ‘Waves of Fun’ for this promotion, which is combined with air fare by SriLankan Airlines.

‘The Best of Sri Lanka’- a 5 days/4 nights package- would give the Indian traveller the experience of savouring some of the most beautiful locations in the island that includes sites of the “Ramayana trails”. The traveler will also stay in some of the finest hotels in Sri Lanka during the tour, such as Heritance Tea Factory, the Earl’s Regency and Turyaa Kalutara.

‘Waves of Fun’ package is a 4days/3 nights exclusive package at the beach at Turyaa Kalutara, allowing the traveller to enjoy time out for themselves with many excursions they could pick and choose.

Sri Lankan Airlines has launched the special Sri Lanka travel packages to the top Indian Tour operators in three of the most important source cities in India through exclusive events. Accordingly, launch events took place in Delhi on the 8th of January, in Mumbai on the 13th of January and in Chennai on the 18th of January.

“Last year compared to the overall growth in tourist arrivals of 18%, Indian tourist arrivals experienced a growth of 30% and remains the number one country for tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka with a figure of over 320,000 arrivals. In order to show our further commitment to the Sri Lanka Tourism product, SriLankan Airlines will continue to promote Sri Lanka with tailor made packages to the Indian market throughout the year”, said SriLankan Airlines’ Manager for North India, Chinthaka Weerasinghe.

“As Sri Lanka’s leading destination management company, we have relentlessly pursued unchartered markets globally, bringing in valuable diversity to the country’s tourist portfolio. Sri Lanka as a destination has to have a strategic focus on India for many obvious reasons, such as proximity, connectivity and size. There is tremendous potential in developing the Indian market for Sri Lanka. We see SriLankan Airlines as a critical partner in this process who have continued to support the industry in promoting destination Sri Lanka”, said Aitken Spence Travels Managing Director, Nalin Jayasundera.

Part of the gathering of Top tour operators in India who were part of the presentation

KIA Project Performance Awards Ceremony at Aitken Spence Technologies

30 Jun

The KIA Project Performance Awards Ceremony was held at Aitken Spence Technologies with the presence of senior dignitaries Dr. Rohan Fernando – Director Aitken Spence PLC and Head of Business Development Division, Vipula Gunatilleka – Director and Chief Corporate Officer Aitken Spence & Managing Director Aitken Spence Technologies, Andrew Perera – Chief Operating Officer KIA Motors (Lanka) and Dhammika Dasa – Chief Operating Officer Aitken Spence Technologies.

The Awards Ceremony was based on the team evaluations which took place after the KIA Project Go-Live in February. The Project was the implementation of the fully integrated Oracle ERP solution which automates the entire process from the quotation up to post sales servicing. The solution is designed to bring Oracle best practices which will streamline KIA processes. The implemented best practice integrated solution to improve efficiency of supply chain and finance operation of KIA.

The Implementation team, comprised of Functional Consultants, Technical Consultants and Database Administrators, was evaluated on members’ knowledge, efficiencies and practice of company values. The evaluation process included a 360° assessment involving the Project Manager, Client and Team.

Silver Level awards were awarded to Sayuru Jayasinghe, Nimesha Muthunayake and Amila Kodithuwakku; while Gold Level award were won by Mayura Kalupahana.

Mohomed Sakaf was awarded with the Diamond Level Award for Best Performing Oracle Consultant.

Dr. Rohan Fernando addressed the gathering emphasizing on the talent and hard work of the team and the readiness to take on future challenges. He commended Aitken Spence Technologies for their exceptional performance and vision to move forward.

Andrew Perera delivered Key Note Address on the ‘Emerging Role of the ERP Consultants’ while Vipula Gunatilleka addressed on the vision of Aitken Spence Technologies moving forward amidst changing times.

Resilient Performance by Aitken Spence Sees PAT up by 6.6% to Rs. 4.9 bn for FY 14/15

25 May

Aitkenspence head office

Blue chip conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC reported its annual financial results for 2014/15 to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Monday, reporting a profit before tax of Rs 5.7 billion and profit after tax of Rs. 4.9 billion, a growth of 4.9 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively. The diversified Group’s annual revenue rose a marginal 0.7 percent to Rs. 35.3 billion whilst earnings per share declined by 2.5 per cent to Rs. 8.82 for the financial year.

“Although this year has been a difficult year in terms of performance, it must be noted that while riding the wave of external challenges, we have turned inwards to strengthen ourselves to reap the opportunities of the future. We are thus optimistic about the future growth of the Company”, said Aitken Spence PLC’s Chairman, Deshamanya D H S Jayawardena.

“Aitken Spence has recorded another year of resilient performance. Diversification held the Group in good stead in 2014/15, to grow amidst challenging global economic conditions and intense competition”, said J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

The revenue of the tourism sector for the financial year grew by 5.1 per cent to Rs. 17.8 billion whilst recording a profit before tax of Rs. 4.2 billion and a profit after tax of Rs. 3.7 billion, a decline of 2.2 per cent and 1.2 per cent respectively, for the year. The decline in tourism sector bottom line was mainly due to the decline in profits from hotels in Sri Lanka and overseas which was primarily attributable to the adverse impacts of the global political and economic climate. The company owns and manages a chain of hotels in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and India. The Group’s destination management segment performed remarkably well. Aitken Spence Travels is Sri Lanka’s largest destination management company which during 2014/15, became the first and only company to handle 100,000 tourists to the country within a financial year.

“The coming year will be an exciting one for the sector, as we add Heritance Negombo to our portfolio and also expand capacity at The Sands, Kalutara by 91 rooms. Construction of the RIU Hotel in Ahungalla is well on target and we are excited by the possibilities offered by our partnership with RIU, and its parent company TUI” added J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

Annual revenue for the Maritime Logistics sector increased by 3.9 per cent to Rs. 7.7 billion whilst profits before tax increased by 4.3 per cent to Rs. 735 million and profit after tax increased by 8.1 per cent to Rs. 614 million. The Maritime and Logistic sector experienced weaker performances from the freight forwarding and the logistics segments whilst overseas investments performed well.

Strategic Investments sector’s profits surged during the year, with profit before tax swelling by 207 per cent and profit after tax rising by 341 per cent to Rs. 613 million and Rs. 509 million respectively. However, the sector reported a year-on-year decrease of 6.4 per cent in revenue to Rs. 15.2 billion mainly due to the reduction in revenue from the power segment. The sector’s printing and garments segments have reported exceptional performances. The Company expanded the garment sector’s production capacity by up to 40 per cent during the period under review, by commissioning a new environment-friendly production facility in Koggala. The plant was built in four months and will create 750 jobs once in full operation.

The Plantations segment reported outstanding results driven by an efficient diversification initiative. The Power generation segment also showed an increase in profits compared to the previous year due to the sale of two idling power plants which resulted in a lower cost of maintenance.

Services sector reported a revenue of Rs. 1.1 billion for the financial year which was a growth of 15.1 per cent. The sector’s profit before tax stood at Rs 132 million, a decline of 38 per cent compared to the previous year. Profit after tax reported a drop of 52 per cent to Rs. 83 million. Except for insurance, elevators and property businesses, the other segments within the sector recorded disappointing performances. The relatively nascent information technology segment accounted for a significant share of the losses in this sector. The Company has addressed the poor performance by restructuring the company, which is expected to lead to a better performance in the next financial year

With a history spanning 150 years, Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South Pacific. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, it is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics, power generation and printing, with a significant presence in plantations, apparel, financial services, insurance and information technology.

Five Aitken Spence Hotels Enter TripAdvisor Hall of Fame

25 May

Five Aitken Spence properties from Sri Lanka and the Maldives have entered the prestigious TripAdvisor Hall of Fame having being recognized for its consistent high performance in customer reviews. The world’s largest travel site recognized Adaaran Prestige Vadoo, Adaaran Prestige Water Villas, Adaaran Select Meedhupparu, Heritance Kandalama and Heritance Tea Factory for obtaining the Certificate of Excellence for the fifth consecutive year.

Nine Aitken Spence Resorts received the Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor. The Certificate of Excellence is awarded to properties that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on the travel review site. In addition to the hotels recognized in the Hall of Fame, Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi, Adaaran Club Rannalhi, Heritance Ahungalla and Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara were awarded Certificates of Excellence for its ability to continuously deliver on a superior customer service experience.

“We have always strived for excellence and have nurtured a reputation of exceeding guest expectations. The recognition received by the resorts bear testimony to the exceptional service and memorable experiences that guests receive from our iconic properties. I would like to congratulate the resorts on their achievement and encourage them to maintain the standards set and continue to exceed expectations” said, Mr. Susith Jayawickrama, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels.

TripAdvisor enables travelers to plan and book the perfect trip and offers advice from millions of travelers and a wide variety of travel choices. The site’s potential reach is 340 million unique monthly visitors and more than 225 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.9 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions.

Aitken Spence Hotels manage a portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman. Its premier brand in Sri Lanka, Heritance Hotels & Resorts, operates a portfolio of five unique properties in scenic locations across the island while its award winning properties in the Maldives operate under the brand Adaaran Resorts.Adaaran Prestige Vadoo- Over water villa Heritance Tea Factory- Aerial

Aitken Spence Sweeps 3 Leading awards at HRM Awards 2014

16 Mar
Aitken Spence PLC wins Gold Award and Heritance Kandalama wins Silver Award & Category Award for best practices in ‘Talent Supply

Aitken Spence PLC wins Gold Award and Heritance Kandalama wins Silver Award & Category Award for best practices in ‘Talent Supply

Aitken Spence PLC emerged as a Gold award winner and was listed in the ‘Super Ten’ companies at the HRM Awards 2014 organized by the Association of Human Resource Professionals (HRP) for the sixth time in Colombo recently. It is the only conglomerate to be amongst the winners repeatedly since the inception of HRM Awards in 2002.

HRM Awards, widely considered throughout the industry as the pre-eminent awards in recognising organizations and practitioners with outstanding evidence-based HR management practices has reaffirmed with this testament of recognition, the commitment Aitken Spence places for meeting processes and practices that are on par with globally recognized standards. Heritance Kandalama, considered as Sri Lanka’s most awarded hotel, similarly secured a Silver Award and received the category award for best practices in ‘Talent Supply’. Aitken Spence was the only organization to win 3 awards at this year’s awards ceremony.

The Awards’ eminent panel of judges, comprising of prominent local and international HR professionals and industrialists, paid special attention to processes that enhance productivity, promote employee growth and give organisations a competitive, long term advantage in their respective fields of business. The scientifically designed evaluation tool evaluated the best practices of participants against established norms and benchmarks facilitated by Society for Human Resource Management, SHRM, India.

Aitken Spence continues to promote innovative thinking and strategies in HR practices within the organization in alignment with world-class standards. Understanding that employees are the core to the company’s success, the Group continues to incorporate diverse career and leadership opportunities both locally and internationally, enhance employee skills and abilities for both professional & personal growth.

Aitken Spence HR Partners

Aitken Spence HR Partners

“We are honored to be recognized at the HRM awards as one of the best employers in Sri Lanka with world class HR practices. We understand that a team of highly engaged and enabled employees are the key to the company’s success. I am confident we will continue to observe the highest standards of HR practices for the sustained growth of our company” noted J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman & Managing Director, Aitken Spence PLC.

“The continual recognition of our HR policies and efforts at the HRM awards is an inspiring indicator that we are moving in the right direction of making Aitken Spence an Employer of Choice. This award will encourage us to continue to create challenging and exciting experiences for our employees, ultimately creating an open and unique work culture that elevates employees to their full potential”, stated Mr. Rohan Pandithakorralage, Chief Human Resource Officer, Aitken Spence Group Ltd.

Further Mr. Pandithakorralage stated “Aitken Spence has a rich history of nearly one and a half centuries. In its journey it has pioneered in to many new industries and continue to be a market leader even today. The success we have had, we see today and we envisage in the future are all attributable to our employees. We at Aitken Spence always go the ‘extra mile and a half’ and we provide an ‘exceptional’ service to all our customers; internal, external, stake holders. It is our DNA and it is our drive. It is how we evolve. We dedicate these successes to our employees of past, present and future.”

Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South Pacific. It is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics, power generation and printing, with a significant presence in plantations, financial services, insurance, information technology and apparel.

Aitken Spence Hotels Bags Gold Once Again at the 50th CA Annual Report Awards

10 Jan

Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC emerged victorious once again walking away with the Gold Award in the Hospitality Sector category at the prestigious of Chartered Accountants Annual Report Awards.

The golden jubilee of the annual report awards was held recently at the Nelum Pokuna Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre. The competition which covers 22 sectors from small business categories such as NGOs, clubs, associations to large conglomerates had a total of 130 organisations submit their annual reports for the coveted awards this year.

The annual competition formulated to encourage transparency and accountability in financial reporting in the corporate sector recognizes companies which have demonstrated excellence in transparency, accountability and good governance via their annual reports. The evaluations were conducted under a stringent three stage system where the shortlisted reports were subjected to an industry expert panel review; the reports selected for the final stage were evaluated by a final panel of judge’s chaired the Central Bank Governor.

Mr. Susith Jayawickrema, Managing Director & Mr.Tilak Gunawardana, Vice President, Finance accepting the award & certification

Mr. Susith Jayawickrema, Managing Director & Mr.Tilak Gunawardana, Vice President, Finance accepting the award & certification

Sustainability, transparency and accountability are stringently practiced at Aitken Spence Hotels and winning this accolade provides a clear indication on its commitment to report on its economic, social and environmental impacts. “We see corporate sustainability as part of our core business strategy and ensure that our commitment is filtered down to every operation. This commendation reflects Aitken Spence Hotels’ track record of commitment to corporate accountability and championing sustainable tourism by producing industry best practices. We will continue to stay committed to delivering exceptional sustainable experiences to our guests whilst continuing to our stringent practices in corporate governance”, said Mr. Susith Jayawickrama, Managing Director, Aitken Spence Hotels.

Aitken Spence Hotels manages a portfolio of hotels and resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman. The company’s expertise in hotel design, building and management is complimented by its dedication and commitment to excellence. Located in some of the key tourist locations, each of the properties cater to a diverse client base.

Aitken Spence Brings Brazil’s Leading Tour Operators to Sri Lanka

5 Dec

Twelve leading tour operators and destination promoters from Brazil arrived in Sri Lanka on a week-long familiarization tour sponsored by the country’s largest destination management company, Aitken Spence Travels.
The tour is being jointly organized by the Sri Lanka Embassy in Brazil and Aitken Spence Travels. The operators visiting Sri Lanka are amongst largest members of BRAZTOA, the umbrella organization of travel companies in South America’s largest nation.

Brazilian Group 01_1VIP_2637 VIP_2752
“Brazil is one of the emerging economic giants with a population that is becoming increasingly global in its outlook, with corresponding growth in international travel. It is in the long-term interest of Sri Lanka to develop a healthy mix in its tourist portfolio. Over the last decade we have been aggressively targeting new markets for Sri Lanka which we believe has contributed to only our growth as a company but to Sri Lanka as a destination”, said Nalin Jayasundera, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels.
Aitken Spence Travels is joint venture between the world’s leading travel company TUI Travel PLC and local conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC.
During the eight day familiarization programme organized by Aitken Spence Travels, the Brazilian tour operators will have the opportunity of visiting many of the islands key tourist hotspots, including the Cultural Triangle, Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya, Yala National Park, Galle and the south west coast.
The visiting party were hosted for a welcome dinner at the Taj Samudra Colombo on Wednesday the 3rd of December. The Brazilian representatives were met by the Chairman of Aitken Spence PLC Deshamanya D H S Jayawardena, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Brazil Raja Edirisuriya, Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman & Managing Director J M S Brito, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Travels Nalin Jayasundera, Vice President/COO of Aitken Spence Travels Tikiri Ellepola and Area Director Sri Lanka & General Manager Taj Samudra Rohit Khosla.
Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Brazil, Raja Edirisuriya said that attracting Brazilian tourists is only a matter of making them aware of the uniqueness of Sri Lanka as a tourist destination. He was optimistic that tourist arrivals from Brazil can be increased substantially if an effective promotional campaign is launched.
With increasing disposable income, Brazil is becoming an important source for global tourism, especially for Asian countries. According to Euromonitor International, the number of outbound tourist trips from Brazil continued to increase strongly in 2013, growing by more than 12% to reach 9.1 million trips. This increase was well above Latin America´s average of 7% for the same year.
Asia has become one of the new destinations for many Brazilians and an increasing number of tourists visit Asian countries every year. Thailand alone receives more than 40,000 tourists from Brazil annually, leading Brazilian tour operators, said that Sri Lanka will be a highly demanded destination by many Brazilians in years to come.