Aitken Spence PLC came up with sustained financial performance for the 12 months ending March 31, 2019 with a 13.8% year-on-year growth in profit-before-tax from Rs. 6.4 billion to Rs. 7.3 billion.
The conglomerate capitalised on its broad-based business portfolio spread across several countries and sectors by recording an increase in its annual revenue by 5.6% from Rs. 52.7 billion to Rs. 55.7 billion while recording a profit-after-tax of Rs. 5.8 billion.
This was an increase of 12.1% compared to the previous year. The resilience of the Group is demonstrated by the continuous growth in EPS which reflects the strength of the Group to face turbulence in the domestic market and yet achieving sustained economic growth during this period, due to its overseas investments.
“Our continued commitment to overseas expansion is evidenced by the investment of Rs.12.6 billion in Heritance Aárah in the Maldives as it becomes the first overseas operation to carry our premium brand Heritance which has been associated only with our iconic properties in Sri Lanka,” said Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake.
Aitken Spence, being an exceptionally diversified Group, has generated 44% of its profits from businesses overseas; thus, spreading its wings across countries, especially in the tourism, maritime and logistics sectors. Of the total assets of the Group, overseas assets account for 33%. The company also witnessed a growth in revenue from the overseas operations by 9.9% to Rs.17.6 billion, surpassing revenue growth in the domestic market.
Total revenue of the Sri Lankan operations also grew by 3.7% to Rs. 38.1 billion. As a result of the outstanding growth in the key sectors, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 20% to Rs. 6.2 billion.
Sri Lankan hotels recorded a profit before tax of 40.3% over the previous year, although there was an increase in room inventory in the country which created intensive competition.
The maritime and logistics sector recorded a growth in profit of 20.9% to reach Rs. 2.1 billion.
The broad-based strategic investments sector delivered an exceptional profit growth of 40.2% to reach Rs.1.8 billion. The power generation segment will provide a lasting solution to Colombo’s acute garbage disposal problem by constructing a state-of-the-art waste-to-energy plant. This will be operational in the fourth quarter of 2019/20 adding 10 MWs to the national grid.
The services sector comprising the insurance business and Otis elevators, showed top line growth with the overall sector reaching a profit before tax of Rs. 268 million, an increase of 11.6% over the previous year.
Overall, profit attributable to shareholders amounted to Rs. 4.1 billion, an increase of 14.5%, while earnings per share (EPS) also rose from Rs. 8.77 to Rs. 10.04.