Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence second quarter profits up 50-pct

Nov 07, 2016 (LBO) – Aitken Spence PLC posted 540 million rupees as profits attributable to equity holders of the company in the second quarter, an increase of 50 percent year-on-year.

Pre-tax profits rose by 26 percent to 973 million rupees while revenue rose by 70 percent to 9.8 billion rupees, in the second quarter from last year.

Earnings per share for the quarter was 1.33 rupees, an increase of 50 percent over the corresponding period.

“Increase in revenue during the quarter from the tourism sector was mainly driven by new additions, Al Falaj hotel (Oman), Turyaa Chennai (India) and the new wing of Turyaa Kalutara,” the company said in a statement.

“Resumption of operations at the Company’s thermal power plant contributed to the increase in revenue from the Strategic Investments sector, while the new segments in the freight and port management activities contributed to the increase in the Maritime & Logistics sector revenue.”

Aitken Spence PLC is among Sri Lanka’s most dynamic conglomerates with operations in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the South Pacific.

Listed in the CSE since 1983, it has 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.

The diversified Group’s six months results reflected profits attributable to equity holders of the company at 789 million rupees and pre-tax profits at 1.45 bn. Six-month revenue increased by 50 percent to 17.38 billion rupees, while earnings per share for the same period stood at 1.94 rupees.

Operations of the Group’s thermal power plant recommenced in April this year following a lapse of one year, now contributing to a more stable national power generation effort, the group said.

“The Group has made substantial investments over the years to establish a portfolio of thermal, wind, hydro and especially renewable energy production, and expects growth in this area of engagement both in the local and foreign markets.”

“The interest in renewable energy has been worked into the Group’s sustainability initiatives and continues to be a key priority in the envisioned future of the Group involvement in the power sector.”

The tourism sector whose lion share is represented by the Group’s chain of resorts spread across four countries faced a challenging quarter. The interest and start-up costs of new hotel projects in Sri Lanka and overseas affected the bottom line of the sector.

Closure of a multitude of rooms in a few resorts in the Maldives for refurbishment coupled with lower demand from key source markets negatively affected the returns from the Maldives leisure segment. However, the Company is confident that the Maldives tourism sector would pick up in the short to medium term, the group said.