Citrus Leisure celebrated its fifth anniversary this week, by reflecting on the strides made since inception.
The Citrus brand was first introduced to the Sri Lankan leisure and tourism landscape in 2010 following a management change in the former Reefcomber PLC. The company was renamed Citrus Leisure PLC and initially operated just 50 rooms at the three-star property Citrus, Hikkaduwa. Within a year of launch, Citrus completely revamped the Hikkaduwa property and added 50 more rooms and an additional banquet hall.
Today, the Citrus room inventory has grown to 290 with its portfolio comprising of Citrus Hikkaduwa, the flagship five-star beach resort Citrus Waskaduwa and The Steuart by Citrus, the first business boutique hotel in Colombo. The Waskaduwa property has returned a stellar performance in its first year of operations, obtaining Tripadvisor excellence status.
Citrus has grown in multiple ways during the past five years, with its employee base expanding from 97 in 2009/2010 to 548 in 2014/15 and its asset base rapidly growing from Rs.323 million to Rs.7.4 billion. The company recorded a gross revenue of Rs.910 million in 14/15 compared with just Rs.71 million in 09/10.
The board of directors thanked the many stakeholders involved in the Citrus growth trajectory over the last five years saying, “The strides we have made would not have been possible if not for the yeomen support of our shareholders, suppliers, bankers and well-wishers who have continued to believe in us. A special mention must be made of the travel trade which has enabled us to post strong performances year-on-year, as well as all the guests who have visited us to experience the Citrus brand of hospitality. Above all, we must also thank the wonderful staff across the group, who have a shared passion and commitment to be the best and to create happiness moments for our guests.”
Commenting on its future direction, the board also said, “We are very optimistic about the future, given the plans we are making for a development in Kalpitiya and our other significant assets, including land in Passikudah, which hold potential value gain in the future. We are extremely proud of the contribution we have already made to Sri Lankan tourism and we are committed to being a player that markets Sri Lanka as a preferred destination to the world.”