Business World

Thai mall operator Central Pattana profits up 47% on tourism boom

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BANGKOK — Thai retail property developer Central Pattana Pcl (CPN) reported net profit of 13.6 billion baht ($432.3 million) for its 2017 fiscal year on Wednesday, up 47% from a year earlier.

CPN beat estimates of 12.1 billion baht based on a Reuters survey of 11 analysts.

CPN, which operates 32 shopping malls in Thailand, has been one of the main beneficiar­ies of the country’s tourism boom, led by Chinese arrivals.

More direct flights from China, a visa fee discount and waiver incentives led to strong inbound tourism, CPN said in a statement.

Thailand received 35 million tourists in 2017 and expects 37.55 million arrivals this year.

Revenue from rent and services were up 3.2% from the year earlier, reaching 26 billion baht.

Average occupancy rates in its retail properties stood at 92%, lower than 94% a year earlier due to major renovation­s.

CPN, part of Central Group, owned by the billionair­e Chirativat family, plans a compound annual growth rate of at least 13% until 2022 focusing on mixed-use and residentia­l developmen­ts, increasing rental rates and new malls in Southeast Asia.

Hotel revenue grew 10% to 1.1 billion baht, with an average occupancy rate of 93%, up from 83% a year ago, due to a higher number of tourists, it said.

CPN expects its new mall on the tourist island of Phuket to open by midyear and another mall in Malaysia to open by yearend. —

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