Banyan Tree posts Q3 net profit of S$4m, plans to expand in China

Resort and spa operator Banyan Tree has posted a third-quarter net profit of around S$4 million, driven largely by higher property sales.The company had posted a small loss a year ago.

Revenue was up 49 percent to S$69 million this third-quarter, as compared with S$46 million in the same quarter last year.

Much of the increase came from its hotel investment business and property sales.

Ho Kwon Ping, Executive Chairman, Banyan Tree, said, “The fact that the brand is getting very well-known among property buyers, and our biggest growth in property sales for example has been for branded residences, has been encouraging.”

Banyan Tree says its has recovered from the blow dealt to the tourism industry by the Asian tsunami two years ago.

And barring any unforeseen circumstances, it expects full-year profit for this year to exceed the S$30.4 million it made in 2004.

The company has revised its previously cautious outlook to one that is broadly positive.

Mr Ho said, “(In the last quarter), we were a little bit concerned, not just about the aftermath of the tsunami but about accessibility to some of our sites, particularly in Phuket, but now all the airlines which withdrew in the aftermath of the tsunami are not only back in service, but with expanded number of flights.

“…(after the tsunami), we took out… a whole lot of rooms; altogether almost 400 over keys were taken out of inventory to essentially renovate (them) totally. These are all coming back into inventory now for the fourth quarter. And finally, the fact that for the fourth quarter – where we always jack up rooms rates considerably – the fact that there has been almost no resistance from the market at all… these are all the factors that I think will converge to create a very good fourth quarter for us.”

Banyan Tree has also signed agreements to buy three sites in China as part of its ongoing expansion.

These are in Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan Province, Lhasa in Tibet and Yangshuo in Guilin.

The company also said it has secured two new agreements to manage a resort in Greece and another in the United Arab Emirates.

Source: Channel NewsAsia, 14 November 2006 

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