Aitken Spence profits up by 46% and dividends up by 40%
With a stellar performance from its tourism sector, Aitken Spence PLC
reported its highest ever profit before tax of Rs. 5.5 billion for
2011/12. The company posted a consolidated profit after tax of Rs. 4.7
billion for the year financial year ended 31st March 2012. The blue chip
showed a net profit attributable to the shareholders of Rs. 3.7 billion,
a remarkable 46.2 percent increase from last year, while revenue grew by
22 percent to Rs. 30.7 billion. During the year Aitken Spence realized a
gain of Rs. 655 million with the strategic decision to sell the
Company’s stake in Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd.
Aitken Spence reported an exceptional growth in earnings per share of
46.3 percent to Rs. 9.14 and announced a dividend of Rs. 1.40 per share
which is an increase of 40 percent over the previous year.
The Group’s fourth quarter net profit attributable to shareholders
surged by 92.8 percent to Rs. 1.76 billion while profit after tax
swelled to Rs. 2.14 billion, a 73.5 percent increase over the
corresponding period in the previous year. Net revenue for the final
quarter rose by 39.1 per cent to Rs. 9.65 billion.
Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, J M S Brito
said, “The hallmarks of our success and sustainability have been our
ability to harness the right business opportunities; our capacity and
agility to reposition, realign and reinvent ourselves to capitalize on
market realities; and the business acumen and instincts of our team of
well-honed professionals whose bold decisions have paved the way for the
stable and solid results.”
The tourism sector of Aitken Spence achieved a record Rs. 2.6 billion
profit from operations. This was an outstanding 65.3 per cent
improvement in performance in comparison to the previous year. Revenue
from the tourism sector grew by 13 percent to Rs. 11.3 billion. The
tourism sector contributed nearly 50 percent of the Group’s profit from
operations in the financial year 2011/12, regaining is position as the
number one contributor.
The highest contributor towards the sector’s growth was the Group’s
resort properties in the Maldives. The results followed a strategic
revision of our operations in the Maldives, taking into account the
present market realities and trends. The Group’s six resorts compete in
different market segments, but are collectively positioned in the 4 star
and 5 star categories, which has seen a heavy demand in a market studded
with up market resorts.
Heritance Ayurveda Maha Gedara opened its doors during the year as an
authentic Ayurveda resort and has been well accepted by the market. The
Dambulla wing of Heritance Kandalama was closed for six months for
construction of a conference hall and refurbishment of guest rooms. The
conference hall is expected to be completed by July 2012. The Sands by
Aitken Spence, the Kalutara resort acquired in 2010, opened in May 2012
following an extensive refurbishment. A further 90 rooms will be added
to the property by end 2013. In a first for Sri Lanka, The Sands will
operate as an all inclusive hotel with dine around concept, offering
three dining options to guests.
With the tourism industry shifting towards a more sustainable
business model by making itself greener and more socially responsible,
Aitken Spence hotels are proud to have been at the forefront of
promoting sustainable tourism, long before its hype in the industry.
This year the various properties were rewarded for this commitment by
receiving a plethora of awards. To name a few, The Heritance Tea Factory
was the only hotel to win a PATA Grand Award in the ‘Heritage and
Culture’ category, while the Group’s hotels swept the boards at the
National Energy Efficiency Awards 2011, winning Gold (Heritance
Kandalama), Silver (Heritance Tea Factory) and Bronze (Heritance
Ahungalla) in the Large Scale Hotel Sector category.
The sector’s Indian operations continue on a management model and
further expansion is envisaged. The hotels in the Oman segment turned
around, recording satisfactory growth.
The destination management segment of the Group enjoyed its best year
on record, strengthening its leadership position with a substantial
growth year on year by enabling to achieve a healthy mix of tourists
from the traditionally strong European sector as well as from new
generating markets such as India, Middle East and Eastern Europe.
The Cargo Logistics sector of the Group recorded its best performance
to date achieving a profit from operations of Rs. 846.8 million, which
was a 40.7% growth over the previous year. This profitability was
generated from a revenue that grew by 13.9% over the previous year to
Rs. 4.7 billion.
The maritime segment of the sector enjoyed exceptional growth in
profitability despite the immense competitive pressure faced by the
global maritime industry.
The logistics segment of the Cargo Logistics sector which handles the
land based logistics continued its fine performance, marking the sixth
year of continuous growth and quadrupling earnings during that period.
The largest player in Sri Lanka offering a full spectrum of logistics
services, the segment continued to invest further in building capacity.
The freight forwarding segment experienced the ripple effects of tough
global conditions, as the slowdown in the European and the US economies
continued throughout 2011. The Strategic Investments sector recorded a
net revenue of Rs. 14 billion for the financial year, a growth of 30.3
per cent compared to the previous year.