Diversified blue chip Aitken Spence Plc has reported a pre-tax profit of Rs. 918 million for the first quarter, a growth of 25%, over the previous year, while the Group’s revenue rose by 54% to Rs. 8.61 billion.
Earnings per share for the quarter stood at Rs. 1.58, an increase of 16% over the corresponding period in the previous year.
The leading conglomerate also reported a growth of 16% in profits attributable to the shareholders to Rs. 640 million.
“We are pleased to report a yet another quarter of sustained growth. The enhanced performance from our tourism and strategic investments sectors contributed strongly to the Group’s performance,” Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman and Managing Director J.M.S. Brito said.
He said Adaaran Resorts, the Group’s hotel arm in the Maldives, performed exceptionally during the quarter. Aitken Spence is largest international resort operator in the Maldives with six award-winning resorts. With relatively higher occupancies than last year, Sri Lankan hotels posted an improved performance.
The company’s beach resort in Kalutara, which was rebranded as ‘The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotels’ subsequent to significant expansions and refurbishments, commenced operations in May this year.
Aitken Spence Power’s plant in Embilipitiya was fully operational during the quarter under review. As an initial step in its commitment to significantly increase its interests in renewable energy, Aitken Spence has now commenced operations of a mini hydro power plant in Matale and a wind power plant in Ambewela.
The Group’s first quarter results includes income from Colombo International Nautical & Engineering College (CINEC), Sri Lanka’s largest private higher education institution. Aitken Spence made investment in CINEC during the third quarter of 2011/12.
Group benefited due to the devaluation of the rupee mainly due to its interests in hotels (in Sri Lanka and overseas), inbound travel and freight forwarding.
During the quarter under review, Aitken Spence PLC conducted a forum to inspire its top management and sustainability team to explore opportunities in a green economy. The event ‘Going Green: Opportunities for Aitken Spence’ was based on the 2012 theme declared by United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) for the World Environment Day – ‘Green Economy: Does it include you?’
The keynote speech for the seminar was delivered by World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka Diarietou Gaye, titled ‘Towards a Green Economy: Role of the Corporate Sector’.
Hyundai Glovis Co. Ltd., the car carrier with a worldwide transport network, represented in Sri Lanka by Aitken Spence Shipping Ltd., a subsidiary of diversified conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC, was the first shipping line to explore the viability of transhipping automobiles via Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa (MRMR) Port. The vessel Asian Sun of Hyundai Glovis arrived at the Port MRMR Port Hambantota on 6 June to discharge approximately 1,000 units of Hyundai automobiles.
Aitken Spence Plc is an industry leader in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistic solutions and power generation in Sri Lanka, while having significant interests in printing, plantations, insurance, financial services, IT and garments. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, the leading diversified conglomerate has operations in six countries spanning South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.