19 Nov
2003

Ascott Increases Presence in Australasia - Opens Two New Serviced Residences, Rebrands Four Properties

The Ascott Group, a leading international serviced residence chain, is substantially stepping up its presence in Australasia. It is launching 565 new upper-tier Somerset serviced apartments by opening two new residences and rebranding four properties by the end of the year.

This gives Ascott eight upper-tier Somerset properties in Australasia, commanding about 15 per cent market share of Melbourne’s thriving upper-tier serviced apartment business and 10 per cent of Sydney’s. Ascott’s portfolio in Australasia will also expand by a third to 1,100 serviced apartments in 14 residences.

Mr Liew Mun Leong, Ascott’s deputy chairman, and president and CEO of its parent company CapitaLand Limited, said that Ascott is stepping up its presence in the upper-tier serviced residence segment, in response to the growing international business activity in Australia.

“As Australia’s strong economic growth continues, and as the global economic outlook improves, more multinational companies will expand their business in the country. We expect demand for upper-tier serviced apartments to outpace growth in the rest of Australia’s accommodation market.”

Mr Liew added: “Since 1997, demand for serviced residences in the country has risen 83.5 per cent, far exceeding the hotel industry demand growth of 16.5 per cent. With eight Somerset properties, and critical mass in the key Sydney and Melbourne markets, Ascott is well positioned to seize a large share of growth potential in the industry.”

International Network
Mr Eugene Lai, Ascott’s chief executive officer, said: “Increasingly multinational companies prefer to manage globally the accommodation needs of their mobile workforce. Ascott with its network of serviced residences in Asia Pacific and Europe has a distinct advantage in Australasia. The highly fragmented industry here comprises numerous domestic operators, 70 per cent of whom are small independent concerns.”

Mr Lai said that the upper-tier Somerset brand has proven a winner with multinational companies in Australasia. Somerset Hyde Park in Sydney, and Somerset Botanic Gardens in Melbourne which was rebranded in July, are occupancy leaders in their cities.

In Asia, the Somerset serviced residence brand is a market leader, outperforming its competitive set in most cities. Ascott operates over 13,500 serviced residence units in 38 cities in Asia, Australasia and Europe. Ascott is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of the largest listed property companies in Asia Pacific.

Mr Lai said that Ascott is popular with multinational companies as its network of international serviced residences and support systems offer easy, speedy and cost effective solutions for managing the accommodation needs of staff across multiple cities. The new Somerset residences feature stylish quality apartments, central locations, and services tailored for the traveling executive.

Stylish Apartments
The apartments in the new 173-unit Somerset North Ryde in Sydney and 135-unit Somerset on Elizabeth in Melbourne were opened last month. The upgrading and rebranding of the 64-unit Somerset Gordon Place, 119-unit Somerset Darling Harbour in Sydney, 56-unit Somerset on the Pier and 18-unit Somerset on Salamanca in Hobart, will be completed by the end of the year.

Somerset North Ryde in Sydney’s northwestern technology belt offers apartments with scenic views of Lane Cove National Park, and latest communications facilities such as wireless internet connectivity and meeting rooms with video conferencing equipment.

Somerset on Elizabeth in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, and close to Bourke Street Mall, Chinatown and Queen Victoria Market, offers one to two-bedroom suites with designer décor.

Rebranded Residences
The rebranded properties feature new interior design, modern equipment and recreational facilities. Renovations at Somerset Gordon Place aim to restore the building to its former historical prominence in Melbourne’s CBD. Its Victorian 1880’s façade has been retained while its spacious apartments feature chic contemporary décor.

Somerset Darling Harbour, a short walk from Sydney's CBD and harbour attractions, offers stylish studio to three-bedroom suites and a wide range of fitness facilities.

Somerset on the Pier, a waterfront residence and stunning transformation of a 1930’s Hobart pier, won the Tasmanian Tourism Award for deluxe accommodation earlier this month (November).

Somerset on Salamanca, a short walk from Hobart’s city centre, Battery Point and Sullivan’s Cove Harbour, offers picturesque studio to two-bedroom suites with private balconies or courtyards.

In Australasia, Ascott operates a luxury The Ascott serviced residence in Auckland, eight upper-tier Somerset serviced residences and five mid-tier Oakford serviced residences in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart.

The rebranding and property openings are not expected to have any material impact on the company's financial results for the current financial year.

 


 

About The Ascott Group's Properties in Australasia

 


In Australia

A. New Serviced Residences
Somerset North Ryde – 173 units, North Ryde, Sydney

Located in Sydney’s northwestern technology belt, Somerset North Ryde is opposite the hi-tech Riverside Corporate Park, also known as Sydney’s Silicon Valley. It is a 20-minute drive from the central business district and 15-minute drive from Homebush Bay, site of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Its stylish studio and one-bedroom suites feature private balconies with scenic views of Lane Cove National Park. Facilities include wireless Internet connectivity in common areas, meeting rooms with video conferencing equipment, and a seafood restaurant.

Somerset on Elizabeth – 135 units, Melbourne CBD
In the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, Somerset on Elizabeth is a short stroll from Bourke Street Mall, near Flinders Street railway station and Queen Victoria Market. Its one and two-bedroom suites project a stylish, urban ambience. The residence offers conference facilities, a scenic rooftop plaza, gym, sauna, jogging track and swimming pool.

B. Rebranded Serviced Residences
Somerset Gordon Place - 64 units, Melbourne CBD
The residence in Melbourne’s CBD is a short walk to theatres, Bourke Street Mall and Chinatown. The unique National Trust listed property features beautiful 1880s period architecture surrounding a spacious inner courtyard with a majestic 100-year-old palm tree. It comprises studio, one and two-bedroom suites, with facilities such as a spa, swimming pool and gym.

Somerset Darling Harbour - 119 units, Darling Harbour, Sydney
Facing Cockle Bay and Darling Harbour, the residence is within walking distance of Sydney's CBD and tourist attractions. Facilities include a bar and brasserie, indoor pool, spa and sauna. Units range from studio to three-bedroom suites.

Somerset on the Pier - 56 units, Elizabeth Street Pier, Hobart
Surrounded by water on three sides, the residence offers panoramic views of Derwent River and Hobart's waterfront activities. Units range from one-bedroom suites to family residences with loft-style bedrooms.

Somerset on Salamanca - 18 units, Salamanca Place, Hobart
A short walk from Salamanca Place's popular weekend market, the residence offers studio to two-bedroom suites, with a private balcony or courtyard.

C. Existing Residences
In Sydney
Somerset Hyde Park - 53 units, Sydney CBD
In the heart of Sydney's CBD and overlooking Hyde Park, each of the residence' one and two-bedroom apartments features a private balcony and designer bedrooms. Facilities include an indoor heated pool, gym, spa, sauna, café and residents' lounge.

Oakford City West - 31 units, Camperdown
Close to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and Sydney University, the residence is a short stroll from Newtown and Glebe's restaurants and markets. Three kilometres from Sydney's CBD, and a five-minute drive from Darling Harbour, the residence offers one and two-bedroom apartments, a pool and café.

In Melbourne
Somerset Botanic Gardens - 127 units, St Kilda Road
The residence on tree-lined St Kilda Road is minutes from Melbourne's CBD and cosmopolitan South Yarra. Facilities include an indoor pool, sauna, spa, gym, restaurant and conference centre. Units range from studio to two-bedroom suites, some with balconies overlooking Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens.

Oakford on Collins - 54 units, Melbourne CBD
At the corner of Collins and Swanston streets, the residence is in the heart of the city's business, shopping and entertainment districts. Next to the Regent and Athenaeum theatres, it is a short walk from the Southbank and Arts Centre. Units comprise one and two-bedroom apartments.

Oakford Gordon Towers - 54 units, Melbourne CBD
The property in the CBD is a stroll away from the waterfront restaurants and boutiques at Southgate, and a short tram ride from Queen Victoria Market and the shopping villages of St Kilda and Chapel Street. The residence offers one and two-bedroom suites, a pool, spa and gym.

Oakford on Lygon - 53 units, Carlton
Next to the popular Lygon Street entertainment district in the CBD, the residence is close to the cafés of downtown Carlton, Melbourne's 'Little Italy', Royal Exhibition Building, hospitals and universities are nearby. The property offers one to three-bedroom suites and a business centre.

Oakford The Mews - 40 units, South Yarra
Surrounded by boutiques and cafés, the residence is adjacent to the fashionable Prahran Market and close to the shops and restaurants at Chapel Street and Toorak Road. Units range from one to three-bedroom apartments.

D. Corporate Leasing
The Ultimate Apartments - 24 units, South Yarra
The residence is close to the shopping and dining areas at Chapel Street and Toorak Road. Units comprise two and three-bedroom apartments.

Potts Point Apartments - 35 units, Potts Point
Offering views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge, the residence is minutes from the CBD. Units range from studio apartments to penthouses.

In New Zealand

The Ascott Metropolis – 160 units, Auckland
Located in the shopping districts of Queen Street and High Street, the residence is near restaurants and businesses and a short stroll from Auckland’s harbour. The luxurious residence, restored from a Magistrate’s Courthouse, features an Oamaru limestone exterior, onyx ceiling, and elegant studio to two-bedroom suites.

Ascott’s Serviced Residences in Australasia

Australia
Sydney Units   Melbourne Units
Somerset Darling Harbour 119   Somerset Botanic Gardens 127
Somerset Hyde Park 53   Somerset Gordon Place 64
Somerset North Ryde 173   Somerset on Elizabeth 135
Oakford City West 31   Oakford Gordon Towers 54
Hobart     Oakford on Collins 54
Somerset on the Pier 56   Oakford on Lygon 53
Somerset on Salamanca 18   Oakford The Mews 40
 
 
New Zealand        
         
Auckland        
The Ascott Metropolis 160      


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, VP, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
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