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DateLine Sunday, 17 February 2008

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Corporate news:

Aitken Spence nine-month profit up 16% to Rs. 1.9 billion

Aitken Spence released its third quarter financial results to the Colombo Stock Exchange. The blue- chip reported a Rs. 1.9 billion as profit before taxation and Rs. 1.1 billion profit attributable to the shareholders for the nine months ending December 31, 2007, a growth of 15.8 per cent and 20.7 per cent, compared to last year.

Group Turnover has increased significantly by 35.1 per cent to Rs. 18.7 billion, up from Rs. 13.8 billion last year. Earnings per Share increased 20.7 per cent from Rs. 33.65 to Rs. 40.63.

The Group made renewed efforts in the corporate responsibility front during the period under review, with the Company opening the Aitken Spence School of Hospitality in Ahungalla as a joint effort of Aitken Spence PLC. The School will provide training to around 100 rural youth in the surrounding region each year.

The Company resuscitated a garment factory with the opening of the Aitken Spence Apparels factory at the Koggala Export Processing Zone, under the "Nipayum Sri Lanka" 300 Enterprises Program, initiated under the Mahinda Chinthana concept.

During the period under review, Heritance Kandalama was yet again recognised for its environmental commitment by the popular US-based Travel and Leisure magazine and Conservation International as one of the top 15 green hotels in the world. The company said that the recognition has raised Sri Lanka's profile as an eco-tourism destination.

In a period which saw Aitken Spence Hotels winning many international and local accolades, The Sunday Times of UK named Sri Lanka's first theme hotel, The Tea Factory among the "World's Best 100 Places to Stay" in its September Travel issue while the London-based The Independent named it as one of the top five factory hotels in the world.

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