Aitken Spence records highest-ever 1Q PBT of Rs.7.2 bn

Aitken Spence records highest-ever 1Q PBT of Rs.7.2 bn

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Aitken Spence records highest-ever 1Q PBT of Rs.7.2 bnAnchored through a heritage of excellence spanning over 150 years with diversified business operations across 8 countries, Aitken Spence PLC reported a strong performance for its fiscal first quarter (1Q23), the interim accounts released to the Colombo Stock Exchange showed.

The conglomerate recorded a significant increase on its profit before tax (PBT) of Rs. 7.2 billion compared to a loss of Rs. 467 million a year ago. This is the highest 1Q performance in the group’s history despite the multiple obstacles stemming from the current economic crisis. 

The group recorded 553 percent increase in EBITDA (earnings-inclusive of equity accounted investees, before interest expenses, tax, depreciation, and amortisation) of Rs.10.9 billion compared to Rs.1.7 billion in the previous year. Accordingly, the group recorded earnings of Rs.14.41 per share or Rs.5.8 billion for the quarter under watch compared to a loss of 60 cents a share or Rs.245.5 million reported for the corresponding period of
last year.

The group’s maritime and freight logistics sector recorded a growth in PBT of 221.9 percent to reach Rs. 2.7 billion which was driven by an improved performance from overseas operations, liner shipping segments and the maritime higher education segment (CINEC).

The group’s strategic investments sector recorded a PBT of Rs. 4.5billion which was augmented by the contribution from the group’s apparel, plantations, and printing and packaging segments together with the substantial exchange gain recorded in the holding company contributed greatly towards the profits of the sector. The group’s services sector performance was commendable, recording a growth in PBT of 162.8 percent to reach Rs. 307 million with a strong contribution from the money transfer segment due to the flexible exchange rate.

The group’s tourism sector showed a strong turnaround to record a growth in revenue of 205.9 percent to reach Rs. 10.1 billion whilst they recorded a sharp reduction in losses of 80.2 percent despite the prevailing conditions and fuel shortages which mainly impacted tourists travelling to Sri Lanka. 
Amid these challenges, the group’s tourism sector demonstrated a robust performance from some of their hotels overseas and the destination management operations. The rupee devaluation further contributed substantially to the increased revenue and reduced losses for this sector.

“Amid another extremely challenging quarter, the transformational and resilient strategies across the Group that are executed by our hard-working teams have contributed to our robust top and bottom-line performance. As we continue in our struggle and move ahead, we remain confident for a stronger recovery in the group and particularly in the tourism sector,” commented Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director, Aitken Spence PLC.

More recently in July, Aitken Spence made a significant investment of Rs. 1.4 billion in renewable energy by acquiring a ground-mounted solar energy power plant that reiterates their commitment to local and global sustainable development goals. This investment reinforces the group’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions through renewable energy as well as enabling access to clean energy and contributing positively towards rising energy demands.

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