COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence group has reported March 2015 quarter and annual net profits were virtually stagnant owing to economic and political troubles in markets generating tourists.
A stock exchange filing said March 2015 quarter net profit rose 1.4 percent to 1.4 billion rupees from a year ago while sales fell 15 percent to 9.5 billion rupees. Earnings per share were 3.41 rupees.
In the financial year ending 31 March 2015, Aitken Spence said earnings per share fell 2.5 percent to 8.82 rupees with net profit down slightly at just below 3.6 billion rupees while sales rose marginally to 35.3 billion rupees.
“Although this year has been a difficult year in terms of performance, it must be noted that while riding the wave of external challenges, we have turned inwards to strengthen ourselves to reap the opportunities of the future,” said Aitken Spence Chairman Harry Jayawardena.
“We are thus optimistic about the future growth of the company.”
J M S Brito, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence said diversification held the group “in good stead in 2014/15, to grow amidst challenging global economic conditions and intense competition.”
A company statement said revenue of the tourism sector for the financial year grew by 5.1 percent to 17.8 billion rupees whilst recording a profit after tax of 3.7 billion rupees, a decline of 1.2 percent.
“The decline in tourism sector bottom line was mainly due to the decline in profits from hotels in Sri Lanka and overseas which was primarily attributable to the adverse impacts of the global political and economic climate,” it said.
The company owns and manages a chain of hotels in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Oman and India.
“The coming year will be an exciting one for the sector, as we add Heritance Negombo to our portfolio and also expand capacity at The Sands, Kalutara by 91 rooms,” said Brito.
“Construction of the RIU Hotel in Ahungalla is well on target and we are excited by the possibilities offered by our partnership with RIU, and its parent company TUI.”
Annual revenue for the Maritime Logistics sector increased by 3.9 percent to 7.7 billion rupees while profit after tax increased by 8.1 percent to 614 million rupees.
“The Maritime and Logistic sector experienced weaker performances from the freight forwarding and the logistics segments whilst overseas investments performed well,” the statement said.
The Strategic Investments sector’s profits surged during the year, with profit after tax rising by 341 percent to 509 million rupees.
However, the sector reported a year-on-year decrease of 6.4 percent in revenue to 15.2 billion rupees mainly due to the reduction in revenue from the power segment.