Wanda Commercial Properties Group, controlled by the mainland's richest man, Wang Jianlin, announced yesterday that it was changing its name to Wanda Hotel Development to reflect its plan to build and hold hotels in global gateway cities.
Wanda intends to operate the hotels under its own brands, which include Wanda Vista, Wanda Reign and Wanda Realm. In the past two years, Wanda Commercial, together with parent Dalian Wanda Group, has snapped up prime properties, often for mixed use including hotels, in London, Chicago, Madrid and Australia's Gold Coast.
"The strategy of the group with respect to these property projects is to retain the commercial component and hotel as investment whereas the residential component will be sold if market conditions are favourable," Wanda said.
"As the group will focus on major international gateway cities that attract large tourism and business travel, the company expects the hotel development business will grow over the years and become an important part of the group's operating activities."
The announcement came immediately after Wanda posted a 92 per cent year-on-year slide in revenue in the first half of the year to HK$88.6 million as a market downturn hit property sales and there was no one-off gain. The disposal of a subsidiary brought it a one-off gain of HK$875.5 million a year earlier.
The firm reported a net loss of HK$57.8 million for the first six months of the year, against a net profit of HK$204.3 million in the same period last year.
Shares in Wanda dropped 10.7 per cent yesterday to finish at HK$2.17, having hit a 52-week low of HK$2.10 during the session.