29 Jun

Ascott Streamlines Its Brands In Vietnam

The Ascott Group, Asia Pacific’s largest serviced residence company, has launched a major brand promotion exercise in Vietnam.

It has rationalised its 560 serviced residence units in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City under its Somerset brand, and strengthened its operations and marketing network.

In Hanoi, the group has revamped the logos of its 185-unit Somerset Grand Hanoi and 66-unit Somerset West Lake to better reflect the stylish lifestyle depicted by the Somerset brand.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the 165-unit Stamford Court has been rebranded Somerset Ho Chi Minh City, and the logo of the 145-unit Somerset Chancellor Court has been redesigned.

The group today commands the largest market share of more than 20 per cent of the serviced residence industry in the two cities, with over US$146 million invested in its four serviced residences.

The Ascott Group’s chief operating officer, Mr Cameron Ong, said: "Our residences in Vietnam are strong performers, with occupancies and rental rates that consistently exceed the market. We achieve high operating margins in the country as we have the critical mass to cluster our properties to exploit economies of scale. Our marketing efforts are enhanced with cross- selling from a sales network that spans the Asia Pacific and London."

He added that the group plans to leverage its brand strength in Vietnam to grow its portfolio of managed properties in the country. This is in line with its strategy to increase its capital productivity and ability to realise values beyond its property assets.

Mr Ong said that the group has maintained its market dominance in Vietnam since it pioneered the concept of international-standard serviced residences with the launch of Somerset West Lake (previously called Regency West Lake) in 1993.

He added that the brand rationalisation exercise in Vietnam is part of a larger initiative to reorganise the group’s 6,000 serviced residence units across the Asia Pacific and London under two brands – The Ascott and Somerset brands.

The luxury The Ascott brand is targeted at top executives while the Somerset brand is directed at senior to upper management executives.

The initiative is in line with the group’s strategy to transform its regional brands into global brands, and grow into a leading international serviced residence company with properties in Europe, the United States and Asia Pacific. It targets to expand to 15,000 serviced residence units by 2005, from its current 6,000 units.

Mr Ong added that the group's brand strength will be built on its innovative products, quality of customer experience and consistency in product and service standards.

It will continue to invest in hardware design and product development, and pioneer service improvements that set industry standards.

The company considers as competitive advantages, its emphasis on ‘heartware’ or service quality and ‘menu’ of guest support services. These range from organising events for guests to experience the local culture, to networking activities to help them integrate with the community.

About Somerset Serviced Residences in Vietnam

Somerset serviced residence units comprise a living room, fully equipped kitchen and bedrooms, with daily maid services, front office, concierge and security. Facilities include a swimming pool, gym, jacuzzi, sauna, tennis courts and playground or playroom.

In Hanoi – The city’s tallest serviced residence, the 185-unit Somerset Grand Hanoi is close to Hanoi’s prime shopping and entertainment centre at Hai Ba Trung Street. Units range from one-bedroom to luxury three-bedroom penthouses on the 25th floor. A shopping mall and convention centre are conveniently located on the lower floors of the building. The 66-unit Somerset West Lake offers scenic lake views, and yet is close to Central Hanoi. The apartments range from one-bedroom studios to four-bedroom suites for families, with balconies or private gardens.

In Ho Chi Minh City -- The 19-storey 145-unit Somerset Chancellor Court is situated at the corner of Mac Dinh Chi and Nguyen Thi Minh Khai streets, next to the city’s diplomatic and prime commercial areas. Units range from one-bedroom apartments to four- bedroom penthouses with balconies. The 12-storey 165-unit Somerset Ho Chi Minh City is located in the prestigious District One, in the heart of the city. Units comprise two to four-bedroom apartments.

The Ascott Group

The Ascott Group is the Asia Pacific's largest serviced residence company. Its 'The Ascott' and 'Somerset' serviced residence brands are market leaders in the region.

Created through the merger between The Ascott Limited and Somerset Holdings Limited in November 2000, the group owns and / or manages over 6,000 serviced residence units in 16 cities in 10 countries.

Headquartered in Singapore, The Ascott Group's shares trade as ‘Ascott’ on the Singapore Exchange. The group is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, Southeast Asia's largest listed property company.



Ida Lim, Vice President
Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
Tel: (65) 65867-230 Hp: (65) 9628-8339 Fax: (65) 62272-220

Dennis Foo, Chief Corporate Officer
Tel: (65) 5867-181 Hp: (65) 9674-4353 Fax: (65) 5867-202