20 Jan
2006

Ascott trebles its 2005 operating profit to S$44.6 Million

Achieves strong revenue growth of 86% to S$444.1 million for full year 2005

Group 4Q 05
S$ m

 
4Q 04
S$ m

 
change YTD
Dec 05

S$ m

 
YTD
Dec 04

S$ m

 
change
Revenue 112.7 82.9 36% 444.1 238.9 86%
Profit After Tax and Minority Interest (PATMI)
Comprises:
Operating PATMI
Non-operating income
FRS 39 charges
6.6
 
5.7
1.1
(0.2)
4.4
 
(0.6)
5.0
-
50%
 
n.m.
-77%
n.m.
41.9
 
44.6
3.3
(6.0)
51.8
 
14.9
36.9
-
-19%
 
201%
-91%
n.m.
Earnings Per Share 0.4 cts 0.3 cts 33% 2.7 cts 3.3 cts -18%
Net Asset Value Per Share -- -- -- 80.6 cts
at end Dec 2005
 
79.4 cts
at end Dec 2004
 
--

n.m. : not meaningful

The Ascott Group’s (Ascott) full year operating profit after tax and minority interest (PATMI) for 2005 trebled from S$14.9 million in 2004 to S$44.6 million, posting its highest operating results since the formation of The Ascott Group through a merger in 2000. Its operating performance for 4Q2005 also improved eleven-fold from a loss of S$0.6 million in 4Q2004 to an operating PATMI of S$5.7 million. These achievements were mainly attributable to the continuing improvement in the Group’s serviced residence operations, especially in China and Europe, as well as higher share of Citadines’ profit.

Ascott’s revenue for the full year 2005 leapt 86% from S$238.9 million in 2004 to S$444.1 million, reinforcing its strong leadership position in the serviced residence industry. The Group delivered strong revenue performance with 36% increase in revenue in 4Q2005 over that of 4Q2004 to S$112.7 million. These achievements were supported by the expansion and strong improvement in the Group’s serviced residence operations, particularly in Europe and China, and the consolidation of revenue of Citadines, which the Group fully acquired at the end of 2004.

Ascott’s net profit of S$51.8 million for the full year 2004 was underpinned by a portfolio gain of S$36.9 million, which relates mainly to the substantial gain from the divestment of The Ascott Singapore and Scotts Shopping Centre. For 2005, despite a significantly lower portfolio gain of S$3.3 million, Ascott achieved a strong full year net profit of S$41.9 million.

Stronger global brand recognition, coupled with successful sales and marketing initiatives, contributed to the improvement in Ascott’s revenue per available apartment unit (REVPAU) across all regions in 2005. REVPAU for 2005 in the United Kingdom, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Australia and the Philippines recorded double-digit increases ranging from 10% to 27%.

In view of Ascott's good performance, Ascott's directors are recommending a total dividend of 2.0 cents per share, comprising a first and final dividend of 1.2 cents and a bonus dividend of 0.8 cents.

Ascott’s Chairman, Mr Lim Chin Beng said: “The robust results affirm Ascott’s strategy to be a pure-play leading international serviced residence company. The full acquisition of Citadines chain has diversified Ascott’s operations geographically and provided the Group with another engine of growth. The Group will be announcing a major transaction that unlocks value for our shareholders. Ascott’s business model will be transformed into an integrated platform to spearhead its growth strategy."

Mr Liew Mun Leong, Ascott’s Deputy Chairman and President and CEO of its parent company, CapitaLand Group said: “Ascott has continued to strengthen its leadership presence in Asia Pacific. In 2005, it added more than 2,000 new units in key high-growth markets including China and Thailand. Management has been more focused on improving operational excellence and building brand equity. Ascott also garnered almost 20 prestigious industry recognition and international brand awards last year. As demand for serviced residences is expected to grow especially in Asia Pacific, we will proactively seek opportunities available in the region to gain a larger slice of this global industry. Looking ahead, the Group will step up its efforts to leverage on its dominant position in the serviced residence industry.”

Ascott’s Managing Director and CEO, Mr Cameron Ong said: “2005 has been a successful year for Ascott. We achieved the highest operating profit since our merger in 2000. The Group has surpassed its target of achieving 15,000 units by 2005, and we are the largest serviced residence company in Asia Pacific and Europe. Our current portfolio is about 15,500 units with close to 120 properties in 41 cities. We will continue to expand our portfolio globally, consolidate our operations and build upon our company’s strong brand reputation and service culture. With the continuing improvement in operations and the change in the business model, the Group’s net profit for the full year 2006 will be higher than that of 2005,” added Mr Ong.

About The Ascott Group

The Ascott Group is a leading international serviced residence company with about 15,500 serviced residence units in the key cities of Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East.

Ascott's global presence spans over 41 cities in 17 countries. These include London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Barcelona in Europe; Singapore, Bangkok, Pattaya, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing in Asia; Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in Australia/New Zealand; as well as Dubai in the Middle East.

Headquartered in Singapore, The Ascott Group pioneered 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 operates three brands – The Ascott, Somerset and Citadines. Its achievements have been recognised internationally; it has clinched numerous prestigious awards including Korea Times’ ‘Best International Brand (Serviced Residence)’ by Somerset Palace Seoul, ‘Best Accommodation’ by The Ascott Metropolis Auckland in the 2005 World Travel Awards, TTG Asia Media’s Best Serviced Residence Operator award and the Business Traveller’s 2005 Best Serviced Residence Brand and Best Serviced Residence in Asia Pacific awards. For a full list of these awards, please visit :
https://www.the-ascott.com/aboutus/awards_and_accolades.html?year=2007.

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 Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. Its property and hospitality portfolio spans more than 70 cities in 17 countries.

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

 

MEDIA
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

ANALYST
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