Business Times

Aitken Spence strengthens high-end hotel portfolio

Like most leisure-heavy companies, Aitken Spence is also strengthening its hotel portfolio with sights on the high-end, sustainable tourism market. Deputy Chairman and Managing Director J.M.S. Brito said this week the group’s commitment to Sri Lanka over the years, displayed through investments made in the resort portfolio in the island has positioned it strongly to reap the benefits of the tourism revival. “We have aggressive plans to strengthen our tourism interests in the island to position Sri Lanka as a high-end sustainable tourism destination.”

His comments came in the group’s first quarter results released this week which showed pre-tax profit of Rs 647 million for the three months to June, up 33 % from the same period last year. Profits attributable to shareholders rose by 50 % to Rs 440 million.

Mr Brito said in the report that the company’s tourism sector performed well during the quarter with the Sri Lankan leisure segment reporting an improved performance compared to last year. This was despite Neptune Hotel being closed for renovation. “We have been able to trim our losses in the Maldives leisure segment, where the industry is still recovering from the downturn.”

Group revenue rose by 12 % to Rs 5.66 billion while earnings per share rose 50 % from Rs 10.86 to Rs 16.24. During the quarter under review, Aitken Spence Hotel Holding successfully concluded a rights issue of one new share for every four held at an issue price of Rs. 260 per share to finance future investments.

The Group’s Singapore Airlines agency recorded strong growth while the printing and insurance sectors showed an improved performance from last year. Earnings from the cargo, logistics and strategic investments’ sectors remained flat, however.

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