Record take at HK flagship lifts Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels
Tsim Sha Tsui icon is key driver behind 31pc increase in profits to HK$904m
A record-breaking performance at the iconic Peninsula hotel helped Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels lift profit before non-operating items 31 per cent to HK$904 million last year.
Group chief executive Clement Kwok King-man said revenue per available room (revpar) of the company's eight-strong hotel portfolio, led by the 79-year-old Peninsula, rose 12 per cent on average while rental at serviced apartments and retailing spaces increased across the board.
Turnover rose 13.64 per cent to HK$3.72 billion.
'The Hong Kong business has returned to the pre-handover level and the forward booking looks very good,' he said yesterday. 'I haven't seen any major threat that will stop the positive momentum going forward.'
The luxury hotel operator said net profit fell 21.39 per cent to HK$2.09 billion from HK$2.66 billion a year earlier, dragged down by a 32.4 per cent decline in the revaluation surplus on investment properties to HK$1.44 billion. The 2005 full-year net was also boosted by a HK$953 million one-off gain from the disposal of Kowloon Hotel.
Earnings per share after non-operating items fell 22.22 per cent to HK$1.47.
The stock dropped 22 HK cents, or 1.77 per cent, to HK$12.22 after the announcement.
The Peninsula in Tsim Sha Tsui was the growth leader, with its revpar rising 14 per cent on the back of a 12 per cent increase in room rates to HK$3,228 per room per night and one percentage point rise in occupancy to 80 per cent.
Mr Kwok said the hotel's performance beat the 1996 and 1997 levels in terms of revpar even though last year's room rate was still below the 1996 rate of HK$3,365 and 1997's HK$3,472. Occupancy was 73 per cent in 1996 and 60 per cent in 1997.
'Our room rate in Hong Kong has risen sharply but it is still below other international cities such as London, Paris and New York,' he said. 'I hope the rates will go up further, depending on demand and supply.'
The room rate at the Peninsula New York was the highest in the group's portfolio, which stood at HK$5,458 per room per night, an 11.34 per cent year-on-year increase on the back of buoyant corporate travel.
The Peak Tower shopping and entertainment complex on the Peak, which was fully reopened in October after a facelift, will contribute to this year's growth, as will the 314-room Peninsula hotel in Tokyo, scheduled to open in the autumn, Mr Kwok said.
The Peak Tower increased lettable space by 30 per cent, or 1,664 square metres, which was let at an average HK$42 per square foot. Mr Kwok said the overall rental income of the wok-shaped tower was raised 'substantially' after the facelift.
The final dividend was raised 10 per cent to 11 HK cents per share, taking the full-year payout 14.28 per cent higher at 16 HK cents per share.