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Amidst global turmoil:

Aitken Spence achieves landmark PBT

Aitken Spence PLC reported its highest ever nett profit before tax (PBT)of Rs. 3.4bn and nett profit after tax of Rs. 3.1bn for the financial year 2008/09, signifying a growth of 8.4 percent. The diversified conglomerate’s nett profits attributable to shareholders rose 10.8 percent to Rs. 2.0bn in the year ending March, 31 2009.

The audited annual results of the respected blue-chip released to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Friday reflected revenue increasing by 6.5 percent to Rs. 29.3bn. Earnings per share rose 10.8 percent to Rs. 75.37bn.

Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman/Managing Director J M S Brito said that the evolution of the company continued during the year under review despite increasing challenges posed by the global economic environment.

“The Group ended the year on a positive note with its major sectors performing creditably amidst the global turmoil. Our steady momentum can be attributed to an excellent management culture that embraces constructive change, seeking new paths of success while staying focused on our vision” he said.

The company noted encouraging performances in maritime transport, integrated logistics, power, printing and inward remittances during the year while the returns from plantations and garments were below expectations.

In his review, Aitken Spence Chairman D H S Jayawardena displayed confidence in the country’s prospects for next year. “A peaceful Sri Lanka naturally means a more stable Sri Lanka, devoid of the ravages of conflict and the consequent retardation of economic growth. This is the country’s opportunity - amid the gloom of a global recession, these new events hold incomparable promise for the year ahead”, he said.

While stating that the Group would continue to focus on aggressive expansion in Asia and the Middle East in the year ahead, Brito affirmed the company’s enthusiastic willingness to partner in the development of the North and East.

“We salute the government’s military victories in the North and East. 2009/10 will be a year of unification for the country. We are excited at the prospects for the newly liberated areas and the many opportunities that may arise for Aitken Spence to partner the government and non-government agencies in rehabilitating, reconstructing and developing the North and East”, he said.

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