23 Apr

Ascott Records S$8.1 Million Profit Before Tax And S$4.2 Million Net Profit For First Quarter 2003

First Quarter Financial Statement

Group Q1 2003
(S$ million)
Q1 2002
(S$ million)
Change %
Turnover 55.4 68.2 -19
EBITDA 23.5 26.8 -12
Profit Before Tax 8.1 12.6 -36
PATMI 4.2 9.3 -55


  End March 2003 End March 2002
Earnings per share (cents) 0.27 0.60
  End March 2003 End December 2002
Net asset value per share (cents) 74.2 74.1

The Ascott Group recorded net profit of S$4.2 million for the first quarter 2003, down 55 per cent mainly because the first quarter last year had higher divestment gains. Excluding asset divestments in 2002 and 2003, profit for the first three months this year was S$1.5 million lower than in the first quarter last year.

For Ascott's core serviced residence business, first quarter turnover was marginally lower than the same period last year, due to reduced contributions from Somerset Grand Shanghai which was sold and operated as a management contract in August 2002. On a same store basis, turnover rose by 10 per cent or S$3.4 million from growth at Ascott's residences in China, Thailand and Indonesia.

First quarter serviced residence EBITDA, less asset divestment gains, rose by 13 per cent or S$1.8 million compared to the first three months of 2002. Including asset divestments, EBITDA dipped S$4 million to S$15.5 million due to higher gains from disposals in the first quarter last year.

The Ascott Group is a leading international serviced residence company with over 13,500 serviced apartments in Europe, Asia and Australasia.

Occupancy Remains Resilient
Ascott's chief executive officer, Mr Eugene Lai, said that the Iraq war and SARS outbreak reduced business travel and impacted a few of the group's serviced residence markets. However, due to the longer stay profile of its customers, the impact of the war and SARS on Ascott's residences has not been as severe as in the hotel industry.

For example, the March occupancy of Ascott's residences in countries affected by the SARS outbreak such as Singapore was 68 per cent, China 75 per cent, and Vietnam 92 per cent.

Mr Lai added that the outlook remains uncertain and depends on when the SARS outbreak can be brought under control. In this environment, Ascott would continue to focus on cost controls, intensify sales and marketing activities to minimise revenue loss, and find new sources of revenue.


About The Ascott Group

The Ascott Group is a leading international serviced residence company with serviced residence units spanning the gateway cities of Europe, Southeast Asia, North Asia and Australasia.

Ascott's global presence comprises 13,500 serviced apartments across 15 countries in 37 cities, including Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Barcelona in Europe; Singapore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing in Asia; and Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in Australasia.

Headquartered in Singapore, The Ascott Group pioneered the Asia Pacific's first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984. Today, it boasts a 19-year industry track record and serviced residence brands that enjoy strong recognition worldwide.

The Group's flagship The Ascott luxury serviced residence brand projects an elegant lifestyle appealing to top executives. Its Somerset upper-tier brand offers stylish, contemporary living for senior to upper management executives. The mid-tier Oakford brand in Australia and Citadines brand in Europe provide corporate executives with comfortable city residences.

Listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange as 'Ascott', the Group is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of the largest listed property companies in Asia.

For reservations on Ascott properties, call Central Reservations on (65) 6272-7272 or visit the Group's website at www.the-ascott.com.

Ida Lim, Vice President, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
Tel: (65) 6586 7230 Hp: (65) 9628-8339 Fax: (65) 6586 7202
Email: ida.lim@the-ascott.com

Tay Cheng Cheng, Assistant Manager
Tel: (65) 6586 7231 Hp: (65) 9010 0627 Fax: (65) 6586 7202
Email: tay.chengcheng@the-ascott.com