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Centel has visions of Europe

Central Plaza Hotel Plc (Centel) says it will enter the European market as part of its 4.5-billion-baht expansion plan from 2012-15.

Suthikiati Chirathivat, chairman of the executive board, said 2.95 billion baht will be spent on hotel expansion and the rest on food operations.

The number of Centel hotels, joint ventures and those under its management will increase to 85 by 2015 from 40 expected by the end of this year.

Eateries under the Central Restaurants Group (CRG) are expected to number 800 five years from now from 574 in 2011.

An additional 2 billion baht will be spent on acquiring new hotels next year.

“We’re negotiating with two hotel owners to acquire their properties. We hope to close at least one deal in 2012,” said Mr Suthikiati.

An extra 1.5 billion baht will be earmarked for investment from 2014-15.

Centara Hotels & Resorts, Centel’s hotel management chain, now operates 61 properties comprising more than 10,000 rooms in eight countries – Thailand, the Maldives, India, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Fifteen properties are owned outright or joint ventures, while the rest are under management contracts.

Centel is building a second property in the Maldives. Called the Centara Giraavaru Resort & Spa Maldives, it will be only 15 minutes by speedboat from Male airport.

The 140-villa resort will cost US$53 million and open in next year’s fourth quarter.

For this year’s second quarter, Centel achieved consolidated revenue of 2.63 billion baht, up by 29% year-on-year.

Of that amount, 1.04 billion baht came from hotel operations and the rest from food services.

Second-quarter net profit was 42.5 million baht, up by 121% year-on-year.

The increased revenue was due mainly to strong performances by the Centara Grand at CentralWorld, the Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket and the Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya.

First-half revenue totalled 5.63 billion baht, up by 23.3% year-on-year, for a net profit of 444 million baht, a turnaround from a 1.2-million-baht loss in the same period last year.

Mr Suthikiati said full-year revenue is expected at 11.5 to 12 billion baht.

Thiradej Chirathivat, CRG’s chief executive, said his company expected 6.2 billion baht in sales revenue this year.

He added that CRG’s latest food brand, Yoshinoya, Japan’s largest rice-bowl restaurant chain, will be introduced locally this month.

Source: Bangkok Post

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