29 Oct
2003

Ascott’s Net Profit Increases 59% In Third Quarter

Third Quarter Financial Statement

Group Third Quarter First Nine Months
Q3 2003
S$ million
Q3 2002
S$ million
Change
%
9 Months 2003
S$ million
9 Months 2002
S$ million
Change
%
Turnover 46.6 58.8 -21 147.8 179.3 -18
EBITDA 28.2 26.5 6 80.3 74.0 8
Profit Before Tax 8.5 6.4 32 24.5 39.2 -37
Net Profit 4.4 2.8 59 12.9 25.7 -50
Earnings per share (diluted) 0.28
cents
0.18
cents
56 0.83
cents
1.65
cents
-50
Net asset value per share End September 2003
73.2 cents
End December 2002
74.1 cents


The Ascott Group's net profit increased by 59 per cent or S$1.6 million, to S$4.4 million in the third quarter this year, compared to the same period last year. Profit before tax rose by 32 per cent or S$2.1 million, to S$8.5 million.

Mr Eugene Lai, Ascott's chief executive officer, said the higher profit was mainly due to the improved operating performance of Ascott's core serviced residence business.

Third quarter group EBITDA rose six per cent to S$28.2 million, due to the robust serviced residence EBITDA growth of 27 per cent to S$24.0 million, over the same period last year.

Mr Lai added that the higher serviced residence EBITDA was due to stronger performance at Ascott's residences in China, Thailand, Vietnam and the UK; as well as a S$8.7 million contribution from Citadines, Ascott's new acquisition in Europe. There was also a S$1.2 million gain from the sale of a Bangkok residence.

Group turnover in the third quarter slipped 21 per cent to S$46.6 million, compared to the third quarter 2002, mainly due to the phasing out of the non-core residential trading activities and sale of Cuppage Terrace mall.

Profitable Despite Difficult Operating Conditions
Group net profit for the first nine months of the year was S$12.9 million, 50 per cent less than the same period in 2002, mainly due to higher divestment gains last year. Excluding the divestment gains, group net profit increased 36 per cent or S$1.5 million, to S$5.7 million.

The profit was achieved despite the SARS outbreak and Iraq war, and lower contributions from Ascott's non-core businesses that were phased out.

Improving Market Outlook
Mr Lai said the outlook for most of the cities in which the group operates is improving. However its residences in the UK and Europe are expected to see a seasonal winter occupancy dip.

The fourth quarter and 2003 should be profitable, although net profit is expected to be lower than in the previous year, due to the higher divestment gains last year.

Mr Lai added that Ascott will continue to focus on improving the operational performance of its core serviced residence business. The group aims to lead in every market it operates in terms of occupancies, rates and brand strength.

In line with its asset light strategy, Ascott targets to divest most of its non-core assets by 2005, as well as restructure a significant portion of its core assets. The group aims to grow to 22,500 units by 2008, from its current 13,500 units. This will enable Ascott to tap unrealised potential in the global serviced residence industry and drive future profitability.

 


 

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 residence units in more than 110 properties across 38 cities in 15 countries. These cities include London, 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, the Group is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of the largest listed property companies in Asia.

Headquartered in Singapore, CapitaLand Limited's core businesses in residential, commercial and industrial property and property related services, such as property funds and real estate financials, are focused in selected gateway cities in China, Australia and the UK. Its hospitality businesses, in serviced residences and hotels, have a global footprint in more than 50 cities worldwide.

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