Tag Archives: Aitken Spence Printing

Aitken Spence Printing Renovates Printing Facility at the Deaf & Blind School

13 Aug



Industry leader Aitken Spence Printing strengthened its community engagements by recently completely refurbishing the in-house printing facility of the Deaf & Blind School in Ratmalana while providing training and employment opportunities to its students.

The school enabling care to over 400 students is now able to access the renovated printing facility that was in dilapidated condition. Two key printing machines SBD Cylinder machine and Auto Platen machine were completely overhauled while the floor of the facility was provided a complete facelift.

Aitken Spence Printing further empowered the students by providing training opportunities on the latest printing technologies available and offering employment opportunity to one of its students. The management hopes to continue to recruit more students from the school in the near future.

“We are delighted to be empowering the students of the Deaf & Blind School in Ratmalana. Aitken Spence Printing will continue to work on similar projects in the future. We thank Mr. Lucky Mendis, Director of Deaf and Blind School, Mr. Nirosh de Silva, Chairperson of the fund raising committee of the Deaf and Blind School and Mrs. Samanthika Jayasooriya, the Principal of Deaf School for giving us this opportunity to be a partner of such a valued CSR activity” noted Mr. Prasanna Karunatileka, the Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing.

With a heritage spanning over five decades, Aitken Spence Printing is known as an innovative quality printing and packaging solutions provider for prestigious international brands in fast moving consumer goods, tea, confectionary, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and apparel industries locally and globally. It is also recognized as top quality printer for corporate reports, coffee-table books, magazines and other high-end publications. The Company has also been recognized by the Sri Lanka Association of Printers as “Sri Lanka’s Master Printer” for the year 2014 and 2015. Offering the region’s only LEED Gold certified and carbon neutral printing plant, Aitken Spence Printing’s ultra-modern printing plant is located just outside of Colombo.


The printing facility of the Deaf & Blind School is one of the oldest printing schools in Sri Lanka. The effort and dedication of the maintenance team of Aitken Spence Printing contributed towards renovating the facility back to its old glory with a handing over ceremony taking place with the presence of the Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing, Mr. Prasanna Karunatileka, the Management team of Aitken Spence Printing Mr. Lucky Mendis the Director of Deaf & Blind School and Mrs. Samanthika Jayasooriya Principal of the Deaf School.

Aitken Spence Printing crowned Sri Lanka’s Master Printer

4 Mar

Aitken Spence Printing was jointly crowned the “Sri Lanka Master Printer” at the recently concluded Collate 2014 printing award ceremony organized by the Sri Lanka Association of Printers.

“Collate” is the landmark event in the Printers calendar in Sri Lanka, held each alternate year. The mega event comprised of a conference, exhibition and awards ceremony. The award ceremony marked the grand finale of the event where all members of the Sri Lankan Printing Industry gathered for a glamorous celebration where the industry’s best were honoured.

With a heritage spanning over five decades, the company is known as an innovative printing and packaging solutions provider for prestigious international brands in FMCG, tea, confectionary, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and apparel industries locally and globally. It is known for its longstanding reliability as a printer of corporate reports, coffee-table books, magazines and other high-end publications.

Aitken Spence Printing bagged a staggering 4 Excellence, 3 Distinction and 3 Merit Awards at the event to become the “Sri Lanka Master Printer”. The Excellence awards were for labels & tags, diaries & planners, point of sales material and posters, while the Distinction awards were for posters, brochures, folders & leaflets and labels & tags. Merit awards were won for periodicals & magazines, pictorial calendars (single sheet) and books.

Winners were selected under 20 categories where 59 printing companies in Sri Lanka participated. The criteria for scoring was based on quality of print, design, concept, finishing and innovation in entries. The judging of the print entries was done by a panel of judges consisting of 7 experts in varied technical segments including several international experts in the printing industry. 

“Every day, Aitken Spence Printing is committed to go that extra mile and a half to deliver the best solution at the right time for all our business partners. To be recognized as “Sri Lanka Master Printer” is a fitting tribute to our dedicated team who spare no effort in continuously redefining excellence”, said Prasanna Karunathilake, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing.

Aitken Spence Printing is the region’s only LEED Gold certified and carbon neutral printing plant. The ultra-modern printing plant located just outside of Colombo, the 100,000 square foot facility is located on 3.5 acres of land. 


Aitken Spence Printing Partners Galle Literary Festival

5 Jan

The ‘literati’ have continued to descend upon Galle for the Galle Literary Festival for half a decade. Writers, from across the globe and the island, have come to this city rich in culture and history to be a part of this event and still continues to do so. In the past five years, The Galle Literary Festival has established itself as a well recognised event in the world of literature. This year Aitken Spence Printing is proud to be a part of it.

Aitken Spence Printing, one of Sri Lanka’s top printers with an unrivalled heritage spanning over half a century will be a sponsor of event this year. Aitken Spence Printing’s product portfolio covers a wide cross section, such as coffee table books, periodicals, magazines and annual reports, for leading local and global brands as well as individuals and non-commercial entities. Some of the well-known coffee table books produced by Aitken Spence Printing include George Keyt – A Centennial Anthology, 19th Century News Paper Engravings of Ceylon-Sri Lanka, Senaka – In Commemoration of the Hundredth One Man Exhibition of Senaka Senanayake, FDB – Felix Dias Bandaranaike and The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce 1839-2004 A Historical Review.

“We are excited to be a part of Sri Lanka’s preeminent English literary festival. In addition to our roots in Galle, we share the values of excellence and vigour the Galle Literary Festival has come to be associated with”, said Prasanna Karunathilleka, Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing.

“We are extremely pleased to have Aitken Spence Printing on board this year as one of our valued Sponsors. The match is a natural one given their history in book printing as well as Galle. We look forward to a long term collaboration and are very grateful for their assistance on many fronts.” said Kishani De Silva, Festival Director.

This year, the Galle Literary Festival will take place from the 26th to the 30th of January 2011.The festival brings together a cross-section of some of the best creative talents from the world to the historic city of Galle. As a result at least at least 3000 visitors travel to Galle each year for this festival.

The Company which began operations in Galle 55 years ago is known for the highest quality products, reliability and technological innovation that are focused on exceeding customer expectations.

Galle Fort is one of the most uplifting cultural experiences that Sri Lanka can offer. It has been declared as a World Heritage Site for its historical and architectural significance. Visitors spend hours exploring the narrow streets lined with Dutch and British period buildings, art galleries, antique shops and restaurants. Since the Literary festival began in and around this area, international and local authors, dramatists, poets, historians and architects from around the country flocked to the coastal town of Galle each year.

Media Release – 05th January 2011


15 Oct

As it celebrates 55 years, the printing company that had its beginnings as a small, in-house printing operation for the group’s stationary has grown and flourished, becoming one of the best printing and packaging companies in Sri Lanka and catering to both the local and the export market.

Although it started as the in-house printing division for Clark Spence & Co., printing the company’s stationary requirements, the 1960’s saw a growth in the company’s outside business that prompted a shift to Colombo from its original headquarters within the Galle Fort.

Aitken Spence Printing has an expansive product range that runs the scope, from coffee table books and corporate publications, to packaging for a varied customer base, encompassing a diversity that covers the breadth, from tea and FMCG to garments, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.

Aitken Spence Printing prides itself on being able to cater to customer requirements, a trait that has made them pioneers in many areas. Not satisfied with being one of the first printing companies to establish itself in Sri Lanka, the company later branched out into the global packaging segment that continues to be highly lucrative, bringing buyers, from UK and Europe.
However, Mr. Prasanna Karunathilaka, Managing Director, says, “Even with the company’s commitment to investing in better technology and facilities, it has been our experienced valued employees , with their continual dedication that has helped us through the years. In fact there are members of the team who have persevered with the company for over 20 years.”

Backed by an asset-rich parent company, Aitken Spence Printing not only attracts the industry’s best talent, but also enables in-house training, that ensures that customers continuously liaise with a highly skilled technical team to provide the customer an unparallel service.

When asked about the future, Mr. Karunathilaka says, “We are committed to offering our customers the best, for without them we would not have made it this far. We are continuing in our efforts to offer a state-of-the art facility, from printing area to technology and training of our staff, in order to ensure that our customers are always assured of the quality they have come to rely on.”

Media Release – 15 October 2010

Printing as it’s meant to be,….

27 Aug

Aitken Spence Printing to soar to greater heights

13 May

AITKEN Spence Printing, one of the top firms in the industry, is gearing up for a two year upgrade of its facilities in continuing to provide quality at a competitive price, the company said yesterday.

Completing 55 years in printing built on trust, innovation and the ability to change and produce solutions for customers in the tea, FMCG, garment, cosmetic and pharmaceuticals sectors, Aitken Spence Director Dinesh Mendis told the Daily FT in an interview yesterday morning at his Colombo office.

The company that initially was engaged in the printing of stationary is now involved in the a wide cross section of sectors such as coffee table books, periodicals, magazines, Annual Reports and for its commercial, government corporates and high street world renowned brand customers.

The company is currently involved in the investment of Rs.50O million in new machinery and the upgrading of the plant that is likely to be shifted to a different location. At present discussions are underway for the construction of a new facility in Gampaha or Katunayake that will be taken into consideration in line with the company’s customer base.

We will have a state of the art printing facility within the next two years,” Mendis said. He noted that in a bid to ensure they are abreast of the developments in the industry they will be carrying out such work that is also aimed at offering the same quality and assurance to its customers both local and overseas in keeping in line with global standards. The reason behind the upgrade is also to ensure that they are able to manage the business and be environmentally friendly while at the same time providing a sustainable production facility.

Aitken Spence Printing has a customer base of 600 with an active base of 150 with a clear target on the up-market clients although they will cater to all that come along. Sri Lanka being their biggest market, the company also caters to its overseas clients in the European market in terms of book work and packaging, the US for packaging, and the new emerging market of the Middle East for both these segments.

Ace Printing is targeting at ensuring that the customer base in Sri Lanka for the local industry is moving towards overseas markets whereas there is a possibility of these customers getting their expert services within the country alone. In terms of packaging, 95% is carried out in Sri Lanka while only a mere 5% is done overseas, the company’s General Manager Rohana Navaratne said.

He observed that coffee table books were likely to be tapped by the overseas market with approximately 60% lost to markets such as Singapore, India and China and only 40% were given to the local market.

Stressing that the company had not sufficiently advertised itself in this field, Navaratne said “We have failed in informing the Sri Lankan market that Sri Lanka has the capability of producing globally renowned quality coffee table books within the country”

Navaratne elaborating on the company plans observed that they were currently seeing more potential in the market and there was in need to bring down technologically advanced machinery keeping in lines with quality standards. He noted, the company would be going in for machines of German and Japanese makes that could handle multi-colours with facilities for online coating and varnishing that would enhance competitiveness and turnaround time. In the past three and a half years around Rs.500 million had been invested in new machinery by Ace Printing. “One area we have expanded is in book work that is carried out in—house,” he said. Navaratne explained that currently a press that could handle six colours was in use with a change in the concept of digital printing brought in due to the adoption of this new technological advancement. While retaining the market share through its quality of service, he pointed out that even in times of recession the company was able to service 90% of its customers. With the provision of colour – management systems they were able to provide the exact colour on the computer screens in its printing. Computer to plate improves the quality and there is consistency in reproduction, he noted. The company also hopes to create increased awareness of its market presence in the market in the form of advertisements and its sales staff in a bid to clear the misconception that Ace Printing is expensive. “We provide quality and at a competitive price”, Mendis noted adding that they wanted to provide total solutions with proven reliability for which they have gained prominence in the market and much accolades.

As seen on DailyFT, 11 May 2010, Page 3

Media Release – 13 May 2010

Aitken Spence Printing

29 Apr

For over five decades, an enduring commitment to quality has defined Aitken Spence Printing’s leadership in Sri Lanka’s printing industry. As an innovative print and packaging solutions provider, we continue to be the first choice for prestigious international brands in the FMCG, tea, confectionary, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and apparel industries locally and globally.

With a distinguished portfolio of leading corporate publications, international magazines and acclaimed coffee table books, we are committed to consistently offer exceptional solutions to all our stakeholders.

Our unwavering long-term relationship with our customers and suppliers is proof of our promise of reliability and trusted quality.

We are well-equipped with pre-press, press and post-press machinery to maintain our promise to our valued customers.

Pre-press: Latest graphics software and hardware with calibrated screens, digital proofing and CTP (Computer to plate) units.

Press: Comprises 6 colour and 5 colour large format presses with online coating unit operated with advanced press management systems, which assures print quality and colour consistency throughout the print runs. Use of colour management tools and software is a standard on the press floor.

Post-press: High-speed flat-bed die cutting machines with stripping units, combined with high-speed carton pasting machines, enable us to manufacture high quality packaging material within a very short lead time to meet urgent shipment deadlines.

Lamination (Aqueous and Thermal), UV coating, blind embossing and new binding equipment provide additional visible value to the products we provide as per our clients’ requirements.

Aitken Spence Printing Contact Details:
T:    + 94 11  2324604
F:    + 94 11  242 3551
E:    aceprint@aitkenspence.lk
W:   http://www.aitkenspence.com/strategic_investments/printing_and_packaging_in_sri_lanka.asp

Our Printing Heritage

16 Nov

While Aitken Spence began as an agency house in the mid 19th century, the group’s successful expansion in the 20th century had its foundation in printing.

Our printing heritageIt all began in Galle where Clark Spence & Company, engaged in shipping, diversified in 1955 into printing, mainly for producing its own stationery. However, as other companies placed orders, expansion became necessary. In 1962 the printing plant was moved from Galle to Colombo and the company became a division of the Aitken Spence group.

It was a far-sighted venture that brought the group unexpected profits through being able to print for local companies during the years of restricted imports. The 1970s also brought in a change in printing methods, from letterpress to offset and the introduction of colour press. Disaster struck at the peak of its success when the entire printing department burnt down in 1977. However, recovery was rapid and profits from printing helped the Aitken Spence group to fund further diversification, this time building the group’s first hotel, Neptune at Beruwela.

In 1982 the printing division moved again, from Vauxhall Street (now the group’s headquarters) to Bloemendhal Road, Colombo 13.  The Managing Director of Aitken Spence Printing, as the brand is now known, Indrajit Abeywardene, and the Assistant Vice President, Buwaneka Wijedasa, as well as the secretary, Savitri Silva, are among those who have been with the company since then. At present there are 68 workers and 64 executives, who are highly skilled machinery operators and qualified technicians. The printing plant functions 24 hours a day.

In the 1990s, the success of Aitken Spence Printing – and the introduction of new techniques – spawned many competitors, described by the Assistant General manager – Marketing, Janaka Kotelawala, as “me too companies.” These newcomers were able to start with the latest equipment, leapfrogging over the conventional methods used by Aitken Spence Printing. It was a period of intense competition making it necessary to introduce new machines and techniques as the company saw its market share erode.

Sustained by its core values of dependable reliability – of meeting deadlines and delivering a good quality product – and by judicious investment in the latest equipment, the company has returned to the forefront of printing in Sri Lanka. It is now recognized, not just in Sri Lanka but also in important export markets, as “a reliable total print solution provider,” says Kotelawala.

The production of printed packaging materials represents about 80 percent of the company’s order book, according to Indrajit Abeywardene, much of it for the garment industry. A joint package-printing venture was set up with a British company with the name Wilkin Spence in 2000 and a room at the plant is dedicated to showcasing its products. The company prints for major High Street brand names like Marks & Spencer, British Home Stores, Tesco and DBA Europe. In his office Buwaneka Wijedasa proudly displays other printing products, ranging from beautifully created hotel menus to lavishly bound coffee table books in full colour.

The company introduced the concept of printed, illustrated and bound Annual Reports for companies in the 1980s and continues to be the printer of choice for prestigious products. It produces several magazines for different publishing companies in Sri Lanka, as well as paperback books for publishers in the UK and USA. While sometimes the printer is acknowledged by its different brand names of ACE Exports or Ace Printing & Packaging, some publishers make no mention of the printing being done in Sri Lanka.

“We expect to expand into more periodicals and book printing,” says Abeywardene. “We have introduced a complete pre-press facility and Desk Top Publishing so we can work directly with clients. However, our mainstay will continue to be good quality printed packaging.”

While Abeywardene and his colleagues are aware of the difficulties because of the current economic downturn, the declining value of the rupee, and competitive pricing, they are confident that Aitken Spence Printing will maintain its position as the market leader.

“Where we are far ahead of the competition,” Abeywardene says, “is in quality. We have a highly skilled technical team and attract the best talent in the industry, enabling us to exceed international standards. Our flexibility, product, service and on time delivery, and the warm relationship we have with our clients, cannot be matched.”

2009 – Ace Magazine Issue I