COLOMBO: Aitken Spence PLC recorded a strong financial performance closing the immediate 9-month period with a 9.9% year-on-year growth in profits before tax amounting to Rs. 2.9 billion, and a 17% growth in profit attributable to shareholders. The growth is attributed to strong financial performances posted by a number of key operational sectors in the reporting period. Bringing to fruition the long term investment strategy adopted by the diversified group, many of the key industry segments operated by Aitken Spence showed positive growth trends in the 9-month period that drew to a close on the 31st of December 2016. The top line for the same period grew by 69% to a figure of Rs. 30 billion while earnings per share rose by 17% to Rs. 4.09. The company achieved a 28% growth in profit before tax in the third quarter amounting to Rs. 1.4 billion. Earnings per share rose by 36% in the quarterly period amounting to Rs. 2.14 per share. Profit attributed to equity holders also rose by 36% to Rs. 870 million year-on-year, for the quarter.
Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, Aitken Spence is a blue chip conglomerate with a strong regional presence in the Hotels, Travels, Maritime Services, Logistics, Plantations, Power Generation, Printing, Insurance, IT, Outsourcing and Apparel. Maritime and Logistics, Services and Strategic Investments sectors all showed positive growth figures contributing to the bottom line gain experienced during the reporting period. Growth in the Strategic Investments sector was driven by power generation, plantations and printing segments while the elevator agency segment helped the Services sector performance. Maritime & Logistics sector benefited from growth in the port management services and education segments and the addition of a new freight forwarding representation.
Unfavourable market conditions in foreign markets, particularly the Maldives and India, and the high costs of finance have negatively contributed towards a challenging period for the tourism sector, despite top line growth. The addition of RIU Sri Lanka in Ahungalla, Al Falaj Hotel (Oman), Turyaa Chennai and the new wing of Turyaa Kalutara contributed to the rise in revenue. “We have seen growth in revenue, and more significantly contributions from some of our new investments to the top line of the Group which is a healthy indicator of the performance of those investments in my view. Most of the [Group’s] key sectors have experienced positive growth in the third quarter. We are also confident that the tourism sector will rebound across the various geographical markets and that the new investments we made will continue to pay off in the coming years”, commented Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC, J M S Brito.