Business News Update: Aitken Spence PLC remained resilient during a difficult period through its diversity of investments in eight countries, thereby recording favourable results for the nine months ended December 2019.
Amid challenging times, revenue of the Group grew by 3.3% to Rs. 43.8 billion for the period ended December 2019. The Group’s EBITDA for the nine months remained stable at Rs. 6.8 billion.
Close to 57% of the Group’s PBT of Rs. 2.4 billion was generated through its investments overseas for the nine months ended December 2019.
The Group recorded a profit from operations of Rs. 3.7 billion compared to Rs. 4.6 billion recorded the previous year for the nine months under review. This was primarily due to the significant foreign exchange gains recorded in the previous year due to the 17.4% depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee as against a 3.1% depreciation during the current year. Profit from operations of the Group stood at Rs.1.8 billion for the third quarter under review.
The Maritime & Freight Logistics sector performed exceptionally well recording a 20.6% growth in profits over the previous year. The Integrated Logistics and Maritime segments continued their exceptional performance recording significant improvement in profits.
Notwithstanding the many obstacles witnessed by the local tourism industry, the Group’s Destination Management segment maintained its market share of tourist arrivals to the country whilst upholding its position as the market leader, in this segment.
The Tourism industry in Sri Lanka had seen a steady recovery following the Easter Sunday attacks, with tourists’ arrivals considerably improving during the last few months of 2019. However, the unfortunate outbreak of the coronavirus (2019-nCov) is dampening the recovery efforts of the country with cancellations being witnessed.
The Strategic Investments sector contributed Rs. 815 million towards the Group PBT. The Group’s investment in Printing in Fiji, is yet to bear fruition with considerable cost still being incurred on restructuring and revamping its operations.
The Services sector contributed 11.1% of the Group’s PBT and recorded a 5.0% growth in Profit Before Tax over the previous year.
The Group’s first Heritance Property in the Maldives; the 150-room property Heritance Aarah commenced commercial operations in October 2019.
Steady progress is seen in the construction of the country’s first waste to energy power plant which is projected for completion shortly.
An associate company of Aitken Spence PLC, Elpitiya Plantations PLC has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Sim Leisure Group Ltd, a leading theme park developer and operator based in Penang, Malaysia, to set up a world-class ESCAPE theme park in the Galle region.