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Aitken Spence 6-month PBT Up by 13pc
Diversified conglomerate Aitken Spence PLC posted a pre-tax profit of Rs. 2.29 bn for six months ended 30th September 2014, an increase of 13 per cent from the corresponding period last year.
The blue chip’s half-year revenue soared by 23.7 per cent to Rs. 19.7 bn, results released to the Colombo Stock Exchange revealed. Profit attributable to equity holders rose by 8.1 per cent to Rs. 1.3 bn while earnings per share improved by 8.1 per cent to Rs. 3.27, over the corresponding period.
Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s most dynamic and respected corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the South Pacific. Listed in the CSE since 1983, it has major interests in hotels, travel, maritime services, logistic solutions and power generation. The group also has a significant presence in plantations, printing, garments, financial services, insurance and information technology.
Inbound travels sector contributed strongly to the broader tourism sector’s performance during the period under review. Aitken Spence Travels, a joint venture with global giant TUI, is Sri Lanka’s largest destination management company with a leading presence in the Maldives.
Aitken Spence is presently in the midst of two substantial hotel projects in Sri Lanka worth approximately 18 billion rupees. Heritance Negombo, which is expected to be Negombo’s landmark destination will be a high-end 142-room resort, expected to open in 2015. A joint venture with globally renowned RIU Hotels, the 500-room RIU Ahungalla will be the largest hotel out of Colombo with opening date set in 2016.
Strong returns from Port Terminals Ltd which runs ports in Fiji made a significant contribution to the Maritime Cargo Logistics sector’s performance.
Considerable growth in the Printing and Garments businesses helped the Strategic Investments Sector record a robust performance during the six months.
In September, the Apparel business unit began the refurbishment of a new expanded facility that would double its capacity. The new factory in Koggala which is expected to be operational in December this year will be employing 1500 staff.
Aitken Spence Printing, an industry leader, recently invested in additional machinery to bolster its post-press facilities.
The increased generation by the Group’s Embilipitiya power plant strengthened the performance of the Strategic Investments sector during the reporting period. The company sold its power plant in Matara during the period under review.
The Balance Sheet during for period under review reflected the Aitken Spence’s recent acquisition of a hotel property in Chennai.