News Centre

16th October 2013
Melsta Regal Finance Ltd. (MRFL) has embarked on a rapid expansion drive by penetrating into the regions and recently opened its first branch in Kurunegala. The company in its first year of operations it now being reckoned to be a key player in the local financial sector. It was recently rated with an A+ rating by Fitch Ratings Lanka Ltd. MRFL also launched its savings products, during the first six months of operations, making MRFL one of six companies within the finance company sector to possess a savings product line Speaking on the progress of the company thus far, Melsta Regal Finance Chairman Amitha Gooneratne stated: “Our key strength lies in the fact that we are backed by a group with diversified business interests. The strengths of the company mainly derive from the group strengths possessed by the company, along with its financial stability.” Drawing from the group synergies MRFL introduced an integrated working capital solution encompassing LC opening facilities, warehousing, logistics and debt factoring. The company in its inception possesses the widest product portfolio encompassing leasing, hire purchase, hiring, factoring, corporate loans, personal loans and an integrated working capital solution with Letter of Credit facilities, pledge facilities, import loans, etc. Through these innovative credit facilities, the company hopes to ignite the progress of the SME sector, through innovative financial solutions. MRFL also offers a range of products which appeal to the corporate sector and herein flexible terms, speed and customised solutions are the cornerstones. The company’s products are unique and targeted at expanding business segments within the country. Hence, the company’s products are branded as ‘Regal – financial solutions symbolising flexibility, innovation and service’. Currently, MRFL facilitates the leasing of equipment and vehicle leasing. MRFL leases specialised equipment for the medical, printing, restaurant and hotel, construction, wood working sectors,...
07th August 2013
Sri Lanka’s premier beach resort Heritance Ahungalla emerged as the Most Outstanding Culinary Team in Sri Lanka after competing against both international and domestic star-class city and resort hotels at the 15th Culinary Art Competition held from 2 to 5 August. Heritance Hotels dominated the competition with Heritance Kandalama being adjudged the first runner up in the overall competition. Organised by the Chefs Guild of Sri Lanka, the culinary competition is part of the industry’s largest food and trade exhibition. Maintaining its reputation for offering the best cuisine in the country, Aitken Spence Hotels won an unprecedented 150 medals including the prestigious award for the Most Outstanding Culinary Team in Sri Lanka. There were 25 categories for the medals and the Aitken Spence medal tally displayed the sheer dominance the resort chain’s chefs had over its competitors in the field. World acclaimed Chef Dimuthu Kumarasinghe – Group Skills Development Chef, Aitken Spence Hotels and Heritance Hotels who led the team along with Chef Lalith Gunesekera – Consultant Chef, Aitken Spence Hotel Managements and Chef Kasun Premachandra, Executive Chef, Heritance Ahungalla whose continuous training and motivation guided the participants, were jubilant along with the teams from Aitken Spence Hotels who collectively won 16 special awards out of a total of 29 special awards. The special awards included the following: Most Outstanding Chef – Chef Y.K.P. De Silva, Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Pastry Chef – Chef W.M.J.A. Bandara, Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Apprentice – Chef L.H.S.N.R. De Silva, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Bartender Mixologist – H.D.S.N. Jayasekera, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Beer Cocktail – H.D.S.N. Jayasekera, Heritance Ahungalla, Nescafe Creative Coffee – S.P.S. Fernando, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Sunquick Mocktail – H.D.S.N. Jayasekera, Heritance Ahungalla, Best Wedding Cake Structure – Chef S.G. Wijesundera – Heritance Ahungalla, Most Outstanding Apprentice Hot Cooking Live – Chef L.H.S.N.R....
01st August 2013
Continental Insurance recently unveiled their new Central Processing Centre at 75 Arnold Ratnayake Mawatha, Colombo 10, which is a central location for the convenience of their valued customers. The building has been specially designed to accommodate all claims processing (both Motor and non-Motor claims) under one roof. The new location boasts over 10,000 square feet of office space and offers state of the art conveniences such as internet facilities for claims tracking, convenient parking, comfortable and spacious customer waiting areas and faster processing of claims. Mr. Gerry Gunadasa, CEO of Continental Insurance commented recently that "the new and spacious office is designed to support further growth and offer enhanced customer conveniences. It will allow Continental Insurance to continue their expansion efforts while providing an environment where its highly experienced and skilled team can continue to develop, deploy and support its distinctive insurance services." Continental Insurance Lanka Limited (CILL) is a company engaged in general insurance business in Sri Lanka and a member of the Distilleries Group of Sri Lanka which has a Fitch Rating of AAA (lka), which gives the company added strength and security. In addition, CILL is a dynamic player in the insurance industry, committed to providing world class levels of service in its journey to becomes the No. 1 Insurance provider in Sri Lanka. Source: http://www.cilanka.com/news.html
18th February 2013
Lanka Milk Foods PLC, the owner of Sri Lanka’s largest two farms, Pattipola and Ambewela has planned to increase its plant capacity to process and packing of more liquid milk to cater the market needs. The Board of Directors of Lanka Milk Foods have already approved an expansion project at its subsidiary, Lanka Dairies (Pvt) Ltd. to increase the Plant capacity to process and pack liquid milk at a cost of Rs.800 million. Lanka Milk Foods, at present, is having modern manufacturing and packaging facilities and expansion of the plant capacity will further increase the production capacity in near future.
08th February 2013
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will exchange letters of cooperation with Aitken Spence Hotels, as part of its efforts to work with private sector companies to create livelihood opportunities for communities in the country’s formerly conflict-affected areas. This partnership will enable UNDP and Aitken Spence Hotels to share resources, expertise and experiences, and demonstrate the positive gains of the collaborations between private sector companies and development agencies in support of people’s lives and livelihoods. It also marks an effort to help young people to seize job opportunities in the tourism industry, which is seeing a boom in these areas. The exchange of letters will take place on 09 February at a Ceremony organised at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute, Colombo between Mrs. Razina Bilgrami, Deputy Country Director (Programmes), UNDP and Mr. Gemunu Goonawardena, Vice President, Aitken Spence Hotels. Youth in Sri Lanka’s formerly conflict-affected areas have still limited employment options, especially outside traditional sectors such as agriculture and fisheries. Under this initiative, Aitken Spence Hotels Limited will provide 70 youth (two groups of 35) who have an interest in pursuing careers in the hotel industry, with hotel school and on-the-job training over 12 months. This will help these young people to develop their skills in a non-traditional sector and market themselves in what is an emerging industry for these regions. The initiative will prioritise female youth, as a way of encouraging greater female participation in the tourism sector and helping to break down obstacles that exclude women, especially rural women, from engaging in the sector. The lessons from this initiative will offer important insights into how the private sector can develop and harness labour and personnel resources in these regions. The partnership will be undertaken through the Aitken Spence School of Hospitality under the Spence Evoluzione Charitable Trust, a charitable...
09th December 2012
Heritance Ahungalla, one of Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence Group’s deluxe hotels, has employed scores of people and sources supplies from the neighbouring villages as part of the ongoing investment drive to embrace sustainability. More than 65 percent of the hotel’s staff of 400 have been recruited from the local villages, many of them have not had previous hotel experience. Those from the local community, have risen up the ranks quickly, to enable Heritance Ahungalla to secure multiple awards for cuisine, service and environment practice. “We are proud of our growing team of young men and women from the surrounding communities, who have quickly adapted to high-levels of hotel management and also readily contribute to expanding our sustainability initiatives,” said Refhan Razeen, General Manager of Heritance Ahungalla. The Heritance Ahungalla family also includes children of retired staff members, differently-abled persons and more than 35 youths from the north and east who secured employment after one-year’s training at the Aitken Spence School of Hospitality. Razeen said a differently abled person, employed as a trainee pastry cook, went onto win two golds and a silver medal at the Culinary Art competition in Sri Lanka. He later secured employment overseas and has since won gold medals in similar competitions in Dubai. Heritance Ahungalle’s roll of honour also includes efforts to conserve energy and preserve the ecological balance around its stunning property. In 2011, the hotel won a Bronze Flame award at the 2011 Sri Lanka National Energy Efficiency Awards. Malin Hapugoda, the Managing Director of Aitken Spence Hotels said the group is acutely aware of the role tourism plays to aggravate global warming and environmental degradation. “Heritance Ahungalla’s energy management system, focuses on effectively managing energy consumption without compromising the guest comfort. It also helps the hotel to meet the current and future mandatory...
02nd March 2012
Lanka Milk Foods (CWE) PLC, one of the leading dairy companies in Sri Lanka, made an entry into the energy drinks segment with the launch of the premium international energy drink, BLU. The specially formulated energy drink was unveiled at a glitzy blue themed party and is all set to take the bull by the horns when rolled out nation-wide. “We see a huge potential for energy drinks in Sri Lanka” said LMF’s Director Sanjeevani Jayawardena who overlooks new ventures. Upbeat about the launch, she added: “In today’s fast-paced environment, energy drinks are becoming very popular and we are happy to introduce the beverage to cater to this beverage segment”. Jayawardena noted that rising consumer interest for what is termed new generation drinks have created consumerism with many professionals preferring the beverage. “Combining a host of sugars, vitamins, minerals and of course water, Blu has an appealing taste that builds on you”, she commented. With unparalleled taste, value and functionality, BLU is manufactured using the latest water purification technology in pristine conditions to guarantee highest quality standards to its customers. Research and development have gone into the creation of this next generation energy drink which provides great tasting, sustained and hydrating energy without the usual bitter after tastes of other brands. Two variants, Blu Regular and Blu Cranberry will hit the shelves of supermarkets and A grade outlets plus hotels, restaurants and clubs and will ride on LMF’s superior distribution network to reach a wide segment of consumers across the Country. A product of Poland, Blu energy drink is available in 30 Countries worldwide spanning all the continents and covering the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia. Source: http://www.ft.lk/2012/03/02/lanka-milk-foods-launches-blu-energy-drink/
22nd November 2011
Stassen Foods along with Woerle Ges. M.B.H. celebrated the 20th anniversary of Happy Cow Cheese in Sri Lanka at the Cinnamon Grand’s Main Ballroom recently Source: http://www.ft.lk/2011/11/22/say-cheese/
11th August 2006
Aug 11 (LBO) – A top UK department store says it is expanding its selection of up market Ceylon Teas by introducing more custom made designer teas to tempt the palate of its customers. A soon to be introduced Harrods ‘Eagle Nest’ tea is manually hand rolled to exacting specifications of the posh Knightsbridge department store. “You will not get this tea anywhere else in Sri Lanka, India or any other part of the world,” says Hazifur Rahman Tea and Coffee consultant for Harrods. “The leaves are plucked by an experienced plucker and hand rolled. This is time-consuming very difficult to produce, so you can only produce about 30 kilos a year.” The limited edition designer tea will sell in packs of 100 grams at a price yet to be decided. Rahman has been buying tea for Harrods for 30 years and has just retired to become a consultant. The tea will be custom made by Sri Lanka’s Stassen’s Group, a diversified business group with roots in tea. Harrods itself was established in 1849 by Charles Henry Harrods as a small grocery shop specializing in tea. At present Harrods sells a range of specialist teas including unblended Ceylon Teas under their own ‘garden mark’, which is the individual brand of a tea estate. Unlike blended teas, where different types of tea is mixed to arrive at a standard taste, the tang of a garden mark can vary from one production batch to the next, with optimum being reached during the drier ‘quality season’ of a given producing area. The temperature and humidity of the day can affect the fermentation process of orthodox tea manufacture and cause subtle changes to the flavour from one day to the next challenging the skill of tea makers. Last year Harrods bought 50,000 kilograms of...
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