Serendib looks up with resurgence in tourism
Serendib Hotels Limited, owners of the 90-room Hotel Serendib in Bentota and the controlling shareholder of Hotel Sigiriya Limited and Stafford Hotels Limited, has boosted both turnover and profitability during the year ended March 31, 2003 with turnover up to Rs. 73 million from Rs. 64.8 million and the after-tax profit up to Rs. 11.7 million from Rs. 0.9 million.
The company’s Chairman, Mr. A. N. Esufally, said that Hotel Sigiriya, where the company owns a 75.7% stake, had an exceptional year - one of the best on record - enabling a 30% dividend to shareholders. Hotel Sigiriya had posted a Rs. 54.1 million turnover and a net profit of Rs. 7.7 million.
Stafford Hotels Limited of which Serendib holds 56.9% posted a consolidated turnover of Rs. 110.7 million and a net profit of Rs. 6.9 million declaring a 4% dividend.
Esufally said that improved results during the year had enabled the directors of Serendib to recommend a first and final 5% dividend for the year.
He reported that with tourist arrivals for the year under review was up 46% to 430,654 and the growth had continued into the first quarter of the current financial year.
"New investors, both foreign and local, have shown renewed interest in the development of new tourism projects and the industry appears to be poised for robust growth," he said.
However, he urged that the government must implement its destination promotion program as a matter of urgency noting that funds for the purpose will become available from the cess that became effective from September 1, 2003 and the additional five dollars airport tax collected from each departing passenger.
Esufally also reported that his board has decided that the time was opportune for a major refurbishing of the hotel designed by the late Mr. Geoffrey Bawa. The property had been closed from May to September 1, 2003, and the public areas, bedrooms and bath rooms have undergone substantial redesign. The hotel re-opened for business on September 1, he said.
Leisure Asia Investments Limited is the major shareholder of the company with 43.2% followed by Mahayaya Estates Company Limited (7.3%), Mr. E. J. de Soysa (7.45%) and Mr. B. S. M. de Silva (3.6%).
The directors of the company are: Messrs. A. N. Esufally (Chairman), C. Wijenaike (Resigned 30.6.2003), E. J. de Soysa, B. S. M. de Silva, M. Rushdi Uvais (Upto 31.3.2003), Mrs. A. R. Gamage (Alternate Dr. L. D. K. B. Gamage), Mrs. M. S. Fonseka, J. C. L. de Mel and H. N. Esufally (w.e.f. 29.7.2003).
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