27 Apr

Ascott Achieves Robust Serviced Residence Revenue Growth

Group 1Q 05
S$ m
1Q 04
S$ m
Revenue 99.7 50.5 97%
Operating EBITDA 23.2 18.8 23%
Net Profit 2.4 5.0 -51%
Earnings Per Share (diluted) 0.16 cts 0.32 cts  
Net Asset Value Per Share 78.5 cts
(at end Mar 05
79.4 cts
(at end Dec 04)

The Ascott Group’s first quarter revenue surged 97 per cent to S$99.7 million, led by a strong 129 per cent growth in its serviced residence revenue to S$94.4 million. This was due to the improved performance of its serviced residences in China and contribution from Citadines, which it fully acquired at end October last year.

Ascott’s operating EBITDA increased 23 per cent to S$23.2 million in the first quarter 2005, due to the stronger performance of its serviced residences across all the regions. The serviced residence segment contributed S$21.3 million to the group’s operating EBITDA, achieving a robust 51 per cent growth from the first quarter last year.

Ascott’s net profit for the first quarter 2005 was S$2.4 million. The first quarter 2004 net profit of S$5.0 million had included a one-time S$3.0 million prior year profit adjustment for Citadines’ results. Excluding the adjustment, Ascott’s net profit for the first quarter this year would have been 20 per cent or S$0.4 million higher than in the first quarter last year.

The first quarter 2005 net profit had also included a S$2.3 million charge, from the group’s compliance with the new Financial Reporting Standard 39, where changes in the fair value of certain financial instruments were recognised in the 2005 profit and loss account.

Mr Cameron Ong, Ascott’s chief executive officer, said that earnings in the next quarters are expected to be higher, as business travel significantly increases in spring and summer in Europe. The first quarter is seasonally lower, due to the drop in business travel in winter.

He added that the integration of Citadines and Ascott’s operations, which is currently underway, would lead to increased cross-selling and marketing by the second half of the year.

Net profit in the second quarter is expected to be higher than in the first quarter this year. For full year 2005, profit from operations is expected to be higher than in 2004.

Improved Occupancy and Rates In All Regions
In the first quarter, revenue per available room (RevPAR) improved at Ascott residences in all the regions. RevPAR increases were highest in China, Japan, Australia / NZ, Thailand and Philippines where they rose 15 per cent or more.

In China, RevPAR surged 15 per cent to S$137, compared to the first quarter last year. The increase was due to higher rates and occupancies, driven by the higher expatriate arrivals and increased foreign business activity in the country. In Thailand, RevPAR grew 15 per cent to S$76, due to healthy occupancies and higher rates.

The first quarter saw the group adding 587 serviced residence units to its inventory. Ascott secured the management of the 243-unit Somerset Park Suanplu in Bangkok’s CBD, and the 152-unit Somerset Berlian in Jakarta. It also acquired a stake in the 192-unit The Ascott Guangzhou in the city’s ‘Wall Street’ Tianhe East Road, as part of its strategy to extend its leadership in China.

The Ascott Group is a leading international serviced residence operator in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Gulf region, with more than 14,000 units spanning 40 cities in 17 countries. It is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of Asia’s largest listed property companies.


About The Ascott Group

The Ascott Group is a leading international serviced residence company with over 14,000 serviced residence units in the key cities of Europe, Asia Pacific and the Gulf region.

Ascott's global presence spans 40 cities in 17 countries. These include London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Barcelona in Europe; Singapore, Bangkok, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing in Asia; Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in Australia/NZ; and Dubai in the Gulf region.

Through its marketing alliance with Equity Corporate Housing, the group also offers upper-tier serviced apartments throughout the US. Headquartered in Singapore, The Ascott Group pioneered the Asia Pacific's first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984. Today, it boasts a 21-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 upper-tier Somerset brand offers stylish, contemporary living for senior to upper management executives. The mid-tier Citadines brand provides corporate executives with comfortable city residences.

Recent awards the group has clinched include the 2004 Business Traveller Best Serviced Residence Brand and Best Serviced Residence property in Asia Pacific awards. The group took the Number One position in the 2004 China's Top 100 Serviced Residences ranking for its eight properties in China. Ascott also won the 2004 Vietnam Economic Times' Best Service in Serviced Apartments awards in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and Best Annual Report and Best Operating & Financial Review awards at the 2004 Singapore Annual Report Awards.

Listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange, Ascott is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of Asia’s largest listed property companies. Headquartered in Singapore, the multinational company's core businesses in property, hospitality, property services and real estate financial services are focused in gateway cities in Asia, Australia and Europe. Its property and hospitality portfolio spans 88 cities in 30 countries.

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



Ida Lim, VP, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications

Hp: (65) 9628 8339

Email: ida.lim@the-ascott.com

Lilian Goh, Manager

Hp: (65) 9795 5225

Email: lilian.goh@the-ascott.com