Diversified conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC’s for the first six months has been negatively impacted by its power sector whilst the other key sectors, tourism, and maritime & logistics have performed positively.
Aitken Spence posted a pre-tax profit of Rs. 1.88 bn for six months ended 30 September 2013, a decrease of 9.2 per cent from the corresponding period last year.
The blue-chip’s half-year results released to the Colombo Stock Exchange show a fall of 19.8 per cent in group revenue to Rs. 14.9 bn. Profit attributable to shareholders declined by 10.6 per cent to Rs. 1.2 bn while earnings per share decreased by 10.6 per cent to Rs. 3.05, over the corresponding period.
Revenue from its tourism sector, comprising travels and hotels in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman was up by 6.7 per cent to Rs.6.3 bn for the six months, whilst the sector’s pre-tax profits surged by 26 per cent to Rs. 1.2 bn.
Maritime and Logistics sector saw its revenue increase by 12.3 per cent to Rs. 3.2 bn and pre-tax profits rose by 11.6 per cent to Rs. 343 mn. Aitken Spence is Sri Lanka’s largest player in logistics with interests in the whole gamut of logistics operations, as well port management operations in Africa and the South Pacific. The contribution from the recently acquired subsidiary Ports Terminal Ltd Fiji, which is also managed by the Group boosted the profits of the sector.
The printing and garment manufacturing sectors also showed strong growth during the period under review.
The Aitken Spence power plants in Matara and Horana were not operational during the reporting period consequent to the cessation of the Power Purchase Agreements, while the power plant in Embilipitiya remained operational albeit with curtailed generation.
Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s leading and most respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, it has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistics and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing, financial services, insurance, information technology and garments. Aitken Spence was recognized as the Best Corporate Citizen by the country’s leading chamber of commerce for 2012.
During the period under review the Group acquired 51 per cent of shares in Ports Terminal Limited through a public-private partnership and took over the managerial and operational responsibilities at the Ports of Suva and Lautoka, in Fiji.
Recently Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC, a subsidiary company entered into a shareholders’ agreement with RIU Hotels of Spain to build a 500 room five star luxury resort in Ahungalla, costing approximately USD 100m.
Aitken Spence recently opened a new sector for the Sri Lankan economy by commencing a luxury retirement community project that will comprise of 140 villas and high-end facilities located in Negombo. The project aims to attract Sri Lankans living overseas who wish to return to their homeland as well as foreign nationals who wish to live and invest in Sri Lanka.