Aitken Spence achieves 44% growth in 3Q PBT from non-tourism sectors

Aitken Spence PLC non-tourism multi-industry sectors reported a Profit-Before-Tax (PBT) of Rs. 1.3 Bn in 3Q, a growth of 44% compared to the previous year in the midst of challenging economic conditions. These sectors also reported an EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest Expense, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation) of Rs. 1.7 Bn compared to Rs. 1.4 Bn of EBITDA recorded during the third quarter of previous year.

An Aitken Spence press release said: ‘The overall contribution from the non-tourism sectors was notable during the second lockdown period of the country. Companies in the maritime and freight logistics, power, money transfer, elevator agency, printing and packaging, and plantation sectors performed exceptionally well compared to last year with an increase in PBT for the quarter while maintaining positive performance during the nine months ending 31st December 2020.

‘The Group’s latest iconic venture, Sri Lanka’s first waste-to-energy project with an investment of approximately Rs. 15 Bn will be formally launched this month by the Prime Minister. This project will provide a sustainable solution to the Colombo city’s waste management problem while adding renewable energy to the country’s energy profile.

‘Outstanding performance was seen from the strategic investments sector that recorded a profit before tax growth of 248%. The Group’s plantations segment recorded an excellent performance during the quarter with a substantial profit growth. During the quarter Elpitiya Plantations PLC clinched the award for Best Integrated Report – Plantations sector at the CMA Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards 2020. The company was also presented with a certificate of Merit.

‘The printing and packaging segment recorded a significant improvement in its performance generating healthy profits during the quarter compared to the negative returns generated in the third quarter of the previous financial year. Furthermore, the maritime and freight logistics sector also performed remarkably to record a 10% increase in profits before tax for the period.

‘The Group’s tourism sector EBITDA for 3Q was a loss of Rs. 447.2 mn. However, subsequent to the reopening of Maldives, the hotels segment is gradually recovering alongside the local tourists handled by the Sri Lankan tourism sector. Amidst many challenges, Aitken Spence Hotels were awarded at the prestigious Luxury Lifestyle Awards – Heritance Aarah (Maldives) named the winner in the category of the Best All-Inclusive Resort in Asia and Desert Nights Camp (Oman) winner of the Best Luxury Hotel in Oman.

‘The destination management arm of the Group Aitken Spence Travels recently facilitated the first of many weekly charter flights from Kazakhstan an arrangement that will continue until April and which is expected to generate significant foreign exchange earnings to the country.

‘The Group recorded a loss from operations of Rs. 0.2 bn for the third quarter compared to the profit from operations of Rs. 1.8 bn recorded in the same quarter of the previous year. The Profit-Before-Tax (PBT) for the third quarter was a loss of Rs. 0.5 bn compared to a profit of Rs. 1.2 bn in the previous year, which was due to the pandemic weighing on the tourism sector.

‘Aitken Spence was the only Group that had two companies – Aitken Spence PLC and Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC in the top 10 ranking in LMD’s Most Awarded. Aitken Spence PLC was recognised among the 10 Best Integrated Reports at the CMA Excellence in Integrated Awards 2020.

“Amidst the challenges faced this year and especially during the third quarter of 2020-2021, the innovative and pragmatic thinking that we had introduced during the initial months of the pandemic came to fruition whilst seeing a remarkable growth in the non-tourism sections. We expect a stronger resilience in the next quarter and financial year,” said Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

‘Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, Aitken Spence is a blue-chip conglomerate anchored to a heritage of excellence spanning over 150 years. Driven by over 13,000 employees and has a strong regional presence across 9 countries, in hotels, travels, maritime, freight and logistics solutions, plantations, power generation, insurance, printing, apparel and other services.’

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