19 Oct

Ascott Continues With Another Quarter Of Strong Growth With Operating Profit Surging 404 Per Cent To S$17.3 Million

Group 3Q 05
S$ m
3Q 04
S$ m
change YTD
Sep 05

S$ m
Sep 04

S$ m
Revenue 112.2 51.2 119% 331.4 156.6 112%
Profit After Tax and
Minority Interest (PATMI)
Operating PATMI
Non-operating income
FRS 39 charges
Earnings Per Share 1.01 cts 1.89 cts -47% 2.26 cts 3.05 cts -26%
Net Asset Value Per Share -- -- -- 79.5 cts
at end Sep 2005
79.4 cts
at end Dec 2004

Ascott’s operating PATMI for the third quarter grew 404% to S$17.3 million. This represented an increase of S$13.9 million over the third quarter 2004’s operating PATMI of S$3.4 million.

Operating PATMI in the first nine months also grew 152% or S$23.4 million to S$38.9 million compared to the same period in 2004. This was driven by the continuing strong performances from the Group’s serviced residences, especially in China and Europe, as well as higher share of Citadines’ profit.

There was a lower portfolio gain of S$2.2 million for YTD Sep 2005 compared to S$31.9 million for YTD Sep 2004 which related mainly to the substantial gain from the divestment of The Ascott Singapore and Scotts Shopping Centre. Notwithstanding this, Ascott achieved a net profit of S$35.3 million for YTD Sep 2005 compared to YTD Sep 2004’s net profit of S$47.4 million.

Strong Performance and Regional Expansion Spurred Revenue Growth

Ascott’s revenue more than doubled to S$112.2 million in the third quarter this year, compared to S$51.2 million in 3Q 2004, reinforcing its strong leadership position in the serviced residences industry. In the first nine months of this year, the Group’s revenue also increased 112% to S$331.4 million, compared to the S$156.6 million in the same period last year.

The strong revenue growth was due to the Group’s expansion and strong improvement in its serviced residence operations, particularly in Europe and China, and the consolidation of revenue from Citadines, which the Group fully acquired at the end of October 2004. The higher revenue was achieved despite the loss of contributions as a result of the divestments of The Ascott Singapore and Scotts Shopping Centre.

Ascott’s Chairman, Mr Lim Chin Beng said: “The Ascott Group has secured five new management contracts in various key cities for the year to-date. With a portfolio of 117 properties and 15,000 units all over Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region, Ascott is the number one international serviced residence owner/operator outside of the United States. The Group’s achievement is not just based on the building of scale and hardware infrastructure, it is also through our ‘Heartware’ culture of going the extra mile and delivering service from the heart for our guests.”

“Moving forward, Ascott will focus on selective investment, securing more management contracts in new and existing markets, as well as building the Citadines brand in Asia, particularly in North Asia and IndoChina,” added Mr Lim.

Ascott’s serviced residence operations in all regions achieved higher revenue per available room (REVPAR) for YTD Sep 2005 compared to YTD Sep 2004, with marked improved performances in Japan (33%) and Thailand (27%). The Philippines (12%), Australia/New Zealand (12%) and China (10%) also achieved double digit increases in REVPAR for YTD Sep 2005. The strong growth in REVPAR was achieved through successful sales and marketing initiatives implemented across all the regions, as well as higher brand recognition enjoyed by the Group worldwide.

Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Cameron Ong said: “Ascott’s strong revenue growth is fuelled by our ongoing expansion, enhancement of our brand reputation and reinforcement of our customer-focused strategy to deliver innovative products and quality services. Against the backdrop of industry confidence that the serviced residence industry is going to be the fastest growing form of accommodation for business and leisure travellers in Asia, Ascott’s operating profits for 4Q and full year 2005 are expected to be higher than that of the corresponding periods last year.”

About The Ascott Group

The Ascott Group is a leading international serviced residence company with 15,000 serviced residence units in the key cities of Europe and 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; as well as Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in Australia/New Zealand.

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-tier 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 Citadines brand provides corporate executives with vibrant urban lifestyle residences.

Recent awards the Group has clinched include TTG Asia Media’s ‘Best Serviced Residence’ award as well as the 2005 Business Traveller ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’ and ‘Best Serviced Residence property’ in Asia Pacific awards. In 2004, Ascott was also voted top by Business Traveller readers.

The Group has also won the First Position in the 2005 ‘China's Top 100 Serviced Residences’ ranking for its eight properties in China; 2005 Vietnam Economic Times' ‘Best Service in Serviced Apartments’ awards in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City; and 2005 Thailand Apartment Living’s ‘Most Innovative Serviced Residence’ award for The Ascott Sathorn in Bangkok. The Ascott in Malaysia was ranked among the top four best employers in Malaysia in a ranking compiled by Hewitt & Associates, a global human resource services firm, in their Best Employer in Asia 2005 study.

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 and real estate financial services are focused in gateway cities in Asia, Australia and Europe. Its property and hospitality portfolio spans 70 cities in 17 countries.

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



Celina Low, Vice President, Corporate Communications

Tel: (65) 6586 0475

Hp: (65) 9682 5458

Email: celina.low@the-ascott.com

Joan Tan, Manager, Corporate Communications

Tel: (65) 6586 0474

Hp: (65) 9743 9503

Email: joan.tan@the-ascott.com

Cheong Kwok Mun, Vice President, Investor Relations

Tel: (65) 6586 7233

Hp: (65) 9068 8465

Email: cheong.kwokmun@the-ascott.com

Lilian Goh, Manager, Investor Relations

Tel: (65) 6586 7231

Hp: (65) 97955 225

Email: lilian.goh@the-ascott.com