Shangri-La books in for a 164pc profit rise
Luxury hotel owner and operator Shangri-La Asia, which saw profit before non-operating items jump 163.98 per cent to US$144.4 million last year, warned that the economic outlook in North America and Europe remained weak.
Including non-operating items such as a fair-value gain on investment properties, attributable profit climbed 12.36 per cent to US$287.07 million, or 9.98 US cents per share.
Buoyant tourism demand on the mainland and in Hong Kong helped propel group sales 28.05 per cent higher to US$1.57 billion, with strong demand spilling into the first quarter of this year, the hotelier said. Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts president and chief executive Greg Dogan said yesterday that the group's 200-room hotel in Tokyo had been forced to close on March 19 because of electricity rationing after the March 11 earthquake.
He said it would not reopen until April 30. The Shangri-La Tokyo hotel had about 20 per cent of its rooms filled after the earthquake, down from 68 per cent on average, he said.
Dogan said most of the growth came from the mainland and Hong Kong portfolio, which accounted for the bulk of the group's total of some 70 hotels.
The group's average room yields, or revenue per available room, jumped 25 per cent last year.
Leading the growth in room yields was its Hong Kong hotel operations, which soared 43.31 per cent. The after-tax profit of the city's hotels leapt 43.67 per cent to US$47.7 million on higher occupancy.
The average room rate of the group's hotels in Hong Kong, including the flagship Shangri-La hotels in Admiralty and Tsim Sha Tsui, improved 13.7 per cent to US$282 per room on occupancy, 10 percentage points higher at 74 per cent on average.
The mainland portfolio was the group's bread and butter, with after-tax profit surging to US$67.6 million last year, from US$9.1 million in 2009, on sales up 36.23 per cent to US$713.2 million.
The average room rate of the mainland portfolio climbed 7 per cent to US$137 per room, and occupancy rates climbed 11 percentage points to 63 per cent on average.
Shangri-La planned to lift the final dividend 66.66 per cent to 10 HK cents per share, boosting the full-year total by the same magnitude to 20 HK cents per share.
The stock closed yesterday 10 HK cents, or 0.49 per cent, lower at HK$20.15, before the results were revealed. Shangri-La is part of the Kerry Group, which publishes the South China Morning Post.
Shangri-La's Hong Kong hotels showed the highest rate of increase in room yields last year, up this amount: 43%