Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence December quarter net up 36-pct

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence said group net profit for the December 2016 quarter rose 36.4 percent to Rs870 million from a year ago.

Sales of the conglomerate rose 102 percent to Rs13.1 billion over the period, according to interim accounts filed with the stock exchange.

Earnings per share for the quarter were Rs2.14. The share was last traded at Rs60.

EPS for the nine months to 31 December 2016 were Rs4.09, with net profit up 17 percent to Rs1.66 billion and sales up 69 percent  to Rs30.5 billion.

Tourism business profits fell sharply, while there was strong growth in maritime and logistics sector earnings, the accounts showed. Finance costs were much higher.

“The Maritime and Logistics, Services and Strategic Investments sectors all showed positive growth figures, contributing to the bottomline gain during the reporting period,” a company statement said.

“Growth in the Strategic Investments sector was driven by the power generation, plantations and printing segments, while the elevator agency segment helped the Services sector performance. The Maritime & Logistics sector benefited from growth in port management services, the education segment and the addition of a new freight forwarding representation,” the statement said.

“Unfavourable market conditions in foreign markets, particularly the Maldives and India, and the high cost of finance have negatively contributed towards a challenging period for the tourism sector, despite topline growth.”

Aitken Spence group said the addition of RIU Sri Lanka in Ahungalla, Al Falaj Hotel (Oman), TuryaaChennai 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 group’s topline, which is a healthy indicator of the performance of those investments,” Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence J M S Brito said.

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“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,” he said.
(COLOMBO, Feb 13, 2017)

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