Ascott’s Full Year 2006 Net Profit Soars More Than 3.6 Times To Record High of S$151.3 Million
Proposed dividend of 6.0 cents per share is 3 times that of 2005
Singapore, 8 February 2007 – The Ascott Group's (Ascott) net profit soared to a record high of S$151.3 million in FY 2006. This is more than 3.6 times the FY 2005 net profit of S$41.9 million. Ascott's net profit for 4Q 2006 is S$11.5 million, more than 1.7 times the 4Q 2005 net profit of S$6.6 million.
The record profit was due to Ascott's strategy in actively managing its portfolio of properties and monetising assets to realise their capital values. The Group's investments and properties were divested at a total value of more than S$1 billion which was partially satisfied by Ascott Residence Trust (ART) units. The divestments yielded cash proceeds of more than S$650 million which were substantially reinvested to add over 2,400 serviced residence units to the Group's portfolio.
In FY 2006, Ascott's properties achieved impressive growth in the revenue per available unit (RevPAU) on a same store basis in Korea (119%), the Philippines (28%), United Kingdom (17%) and Singapore (16%). Similarly in 4Q 2006, majority of the regions in which the Group has operations also showed improvement in RevPAU.
Mr Lim Chin Beng, Ascott's Chairman said: "2006 was a bumper year for Ascott's shareholders. In tandem with the Group's profit which is 3.6 times over that of the profit in 2005, the proposed dividend of 6.0 cents per share is 3 times that of 2005. With the launch of ART in March 2006, ART units were offered to Ascott's shareholders at a discounted price. If shareholders had held on to ART units till now, they would have received a total return of over 30 cents per Ascott share. This excludes the appreciation of the share price which has climbed significantly over the past year."
Mr Liew Mun Leong, Ascott's Deputy Chairman, and President and CEO of its parent company CapitaLand Group said: "Ascott's record profit in 2006 was due to its strategy in actively managing the portfolio of properties, and monetising assets to realise their capital values. The Group will continue to intensify its investment activities and quicken asset turnover through divestment. To ensure its international pole position as the largest serviced residence company outside the USA, the Group has charted growth opportunities in new frontiers including emerging markets like Russia and Gulf countries. Going forward, Ascott is confident of achieving its target of 25,000 serviced residence units by 2010.”
Mr Cameron Ong, Ascott's Managing Director and CEO said: "Ascott's portfolio gains and operating performance in 2007 are expected to remain strong. The Group will continue to benefit from the strong demand for good quality accommodation in Asia and Europe, and we will continue to expand our global footprint. In 2006, we acquired 14 properties and secured eight new management contracts in Asia Pacific and the Gulf region. Besides strengthening our presence in existing markets in Asia Pacific, we also entered seven new cities in countries like India, Bahrain and Qatar where there are tremendous potential for growth."
n.m.: not meaningful
* The decreases in Ascott's revenue and operating EBITDA were mainly attributable to Ascott's divestments to ART during the year and the translation of Europe's accounts at lower rates. Without these divestments and excluding the effects of foreign exchange rate changes, Ascott's revenue and operating EBITDA for 4Q 2006 would have increased by 12% and 21% respectively. Likewise for FY 2006, the Group's revenue and operating EBITDA would have also increased by 10% and 11% respectively.
# Despite Ascott's divestments, its net profits from operations for 4Q 2006 (S$5.4 million) and for FY 2006 (S$33.6 million) remained strong and were close to the level recorded in the corresponding periods in 2005. Without the divestments to ART and effects of foreign exchange rate changes, Ascott's net profits from operations for Q4 2006 and FY 2006 would have improved by 68% to S$9.9 million and 32% to S$49.4 million respectively.
About The Ascott Group
The Ascott Group is the largest international serviced residence owner-operator outside the United States with about 19,000 serviced residence units in key cities of Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region.
The Group operates three brands - Ascott, Somerset and Citadines. Its portfolio spans 47 cities in 21 countries including London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Barcelona and Russia in Europe; Singapore, Bangkok, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Chennai in Asia; Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in Australia / New Zealand, as well as Dubai in the Gulf region.
The Ascott Group is headquartered in Singapore. It pioneered Asia Pacific's first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984. It also established the world's first pan-Asian serviced residence real estate investment trust, Ascott Residence Trust in 2006. Today, the Group boasts a 23-year industry track record and serviced residence brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.
The Ascott Group's achievements have been recognised internationally. Recent awards include Vietnam Economic Times 2006 'Golden Dragon Award', The Asset's 2006 'Triple A Country Award for Best Deal in Singapore', Travel Weekly China 2006 'Best Serviced Residence', Business Traveller China 2006 'Best Serviced Residence Brand in China', TTG Travel 2006 'Best Serviced Residence', 2006 World Travel Awards, Business Traveller Asia Pacific 2006 'Best Serviced Residence Brand' and 'Best Serviced Residence' awards. For a full list of awards, please visit : https://www.the-ascott.com/aboutus/awards_and_accolades.html?year=2007
Listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange, The Ascott Group is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of the largest listed real estate companies in Asia. Headquartered in Singapore, the multinational company's core businesses in real estate, hospitality and real estate financial services are focused in gateway cities in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. The company's real estate and hospitality portfolio spans more than 90 cities in 20 countries.
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