Ascott’s Serviced Residence Earnings Surge 20% From Higher Occupancies
|A. Core Serviced Residence Sector||Q1 2004
|Profit Before Tax||10.1||12.1||-17%|
|Earnings Per Share (diluted)||0.31 cents||0.47 cents|
|Net Asset Value Per Share||79.9 cents||80.1 cents at end Dec 2003|
Ascott achieved profit before tax of S$10.1m and net profit of S$4.8m for the first quarter 2004.
Net profit was S$8.0m higher than in the fourth quarter last year mainly due to its serviced residences' improved performance.
Compared to first quarter 2003, net profit was S$2.4m less mainly because 2003 profit had included a S$2.2m divestment gain from the sale of a non-core asset, and 2004 saw S$2.1m lower profit from the non-core residential and retail sectors. Turnover dipped nine per cent to S$50.5m due to lower revenue from the non-core sectors which are being phased out.
Ascott's core serviced residence business saw a surge in earnings. Serviced residence EBITDA jumped 20 per cent to S$19.3m, while turnover increased 10 per cent to S$41.3m. Serviced residence profit rose by S$1.9m.
The increases were due to higher contributions from Ascott's serviced residences in Singapore, China and Europe.
The Ascott Group's chief executive officer, Mr Eugene Lai, said that the improved performance of the group's serviced residences follows the strengthening of its management teams in several countries, stepped up marketing efforts and effective cost management.
2004 Profit Expected Higher
He added that the economic outlook of the major cities in which the group operates is improving and Ascott is seeing higher occupancies in many of its markets. 2004 net profit is expected to be higher than for 2003.
Mr Lai said Ascott will continue its strategy of asset light growth to expand its portfolio to 22,500 serviced residence units by 2008, from its current 13,800 units. It will seek growth opportunities in China, Japan and Europe as well as in new markets such as South Korea and India.
Divesting Non-Core Assets
Ascott will also continue to divest its remaining S$467m non-core assets by 2005, to focus on its growing core serviced residence business. The serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, Ascott is today the largest serviced residence operator in Asia Pacific and Europe.
Mr Lai added that Ascott's priorities in 2004 include expanding further its customer base to service more of the world's largest multinational companies, as well as enhancing further its product and service consistency.
ABOUT THE ASCOTT GROUP
The Ascott Group is a leading international serviced residence company with serviced residence units spanning the key cities of Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Ascott's global presence comprises over 13,800 serviced residence units across 39 cities in 16 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; Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in Australia and New Zealand; and Dubai in the Gulf region.
Headquartered in Singapore, The Ascott Group pioneered the Asia Pacific’s first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984. Today, it boasts a 20-year industry track record and serviced residence brands that enjoy 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’s core businesses in property, hospitality, property services and real estate financial services are focused in gateway cities in Asia, Australia and Europe. The company's hospitality businesses in hotels and serviced residences span more than 60 cities around the world.
For reservations on Ascott properties, call Central Reservations on (65) 6272-7272 or visit www.the-ascott.com.