27 Jul

The Ascott Limited Announces $2.4 Million Profit For Six-Month Period Ending 30 June 2000

SINGAPORE, July 27, 2000 - The Ascott Limited ("Ascott") is pleased to announce a $2.4 million profit after tax and before extraordinary items, compared to a loss of $9.7 million for the corresponding period last year. This was mainly due to the write-back of provisions resulting from the sale of some residential development units and compensation from the premature termination of a contract. During the period under review, the Group's turnover increased to $25 million, 26% higher than last year's corresponding period. This increase was primarily due to the addition of the Stamford Group which was acquired on 18 November, 1999.

Earnings per share before extraordinary items was 0.68 cent compared to a loss of 4.08 cents in the corresponding period a year ago. NTA per share rose from 76.3 cents at end June 1999 to 88.5 cents mainly due to the capital appreciation of the Group's investment portfolio.

"We have streamlined the Group's business and are now on track to take our business further and to a larger scale. In line with the Group's strategy to expand its serviced residence portfolio, we will be opening three more projects within the next 18 months", said Mr Ed Ng, Chairman of Ascott.

During the period under review, the Group's portfolio was enlarged with the addition of Stamford Court Thonglor and Kallista Residences in Thailand. In the next 6 months, the Group will be opening two properties in Shanghai - the 167-unit Stamford Court Xu Hui in September 2000 and 238- unit The Ascott Pudong by end 2000. In addition, the acquisition of 300-unit The Ascott Piraya in Bangkok, is expected to be completed and will be operational by third quarter 2001.

"Our proposed merger with Somerset Holdings Limited, announced on 12 July, will accelerate our growth and create the dominant serviced residence player in the Asia Pacific region. The Group will then have a portfolio of over 6000 units, bringing us significantly closer towards achieving our target of 8000 units by the year 2003. The merger will provide us with a strong platform to expand globally and build strong international brands, thus allowing us to maximise shareholder returns", added Mr Ng.

Ascott, a public-listed associated company of DBS Land Limited, is the pioneer of the purpose-built luxury serviced residence concept in the Asia Pacific in the 1980s. Incorporated in 1979 as Scotts Holdings (Pte) Limited, Ascott has about 20 years' experience in the region. With over $550 million in assets, Ascott owns or manages over 2,700 units of quality serviced residences. Currently, Ascott's operations span eight countries in Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Vietnam, China and Thailand. Ascott has two brands, "The Ascott" and "Stamford", with "The Ascott" offering high-end luxury serviced residences and "Stamford" offering quality serviced residences.

This news release should be read in conjunction with the full text of the announcement made to The Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited on July 27, 2000.



Adeline Wong
Assistant Manager, Corporate Communications
The Ascott Limited
Tel: 739 6141 Fax: 737 0019
Email: adeline.wong@the-ascott.com