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Aitken Spence posts Rs 1.7b profit in 1H

Aitken Spence PLC posted a pre-tax profit of Rs 1.7 billion for six months ended September 30, 2011, an increase of 7.5% from the corresponding period last year.

J M S Brito

Half-year results released to the Colombo Stock Exchange on Wednesday, show a rise of 8% in group revenue to Rs 13 billion. Profit attributable to shareholders increased by 8.4% to Rs 1.1 billion while earnings per share rose by 8.4% to Rs 2.79, over the corresponding period in the previous year. Aitken Spence 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.

While the tourism and cargo logistics sectors contributed positively to revenue, the strategic investments sector showed a decline in revenue for the period under review.

The growth in pre-tax profit was mainly driven by our resort portfolio in the Maldives and maritime services arm, which includes our operations in southern Africa. We are pleased to report strong performance by our printing and garment businesses, Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman and Managing Director J M S Brito said.

Two of the Group's resorts in Sri Lanka in Kalutara and Negombo remained closed during the six months for renovation while the former Neptune Hotel, now rebranded and repositioned as Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara was closed during most of the reporting period. Aitken Spence operates an award-winning portfolio of 24 resorts in Sri Lanka, Maldives, India and Oman.

"We are pleased to note that internationally the country is seen to be a better location to invest and conduct business. In addition to attracting one of the world's best known spa operators to invest in our tourism industry, we are looking at attracting major international investments to the country which are expected to break new ground in the Sri Lankan economy," Brito said.


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