Dorsett plans to expand hotel portfolio by 70pc

Aggressive overseas expansion backs goal of 8,700 rooms within three years, president says

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 May, 2014, 3:29pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 May, 2014, 3:47am

Dorsett Hospitality International, one of the largest three-star hotel operators in Hong Kong by number of rooms, plans to boost its portfolio by 70 per cent to 8,700 rooms over the next three years as it aggressively expands overseas.

The firm now owns or manages 5,131 rooms in 31 hotels and will add eight hotels and four hotel management contracts by 2017. Hong Kong accounts for 44 per cent of its room portfolio, followed by Malaysia (27.4 per cent), and the mainland (22.4 per cent).

"Over the next several years, we will increase our presence in countries that are members of the Commonwealth, such as Britain, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia," Winnie Chiu, the firm's president and executive director, said.

Three hotels in England will be added to its portfolio: the 317-room Dorsett Shepherds Bush London; the 275-room Dorsett City London and the 44-room Dorsett Shepherds Bush London 2. The firm also plans to add three hotels on the mainland with a total of 913 rooms by 2016 - in Zhuji, Zhejiang province; Lushan, Jiangxi province; and Zhongshan in Guangdong.

In Hong Kong, the Dorsett Tsuen Wan will be completed in the third quarter of this year and the Silka Tsuen Wan in 2016. They will have a combined 967 rooms.

The firm operates its hotels under four brands - Dorsett Grand, Dorsett, d.collection and Silka. Together with a total of 1,062 rooms under four hotel management contracts in Malaysia, Chiu said, the firm will add 3,578 rooms to its portfolio. She said the acquisition cost of those properties will be below HK$2 million per room.

Chiu remains upbeat on the hospitality industry, although the firm's net profit plunged 39.5 per cent to HK$330.2 million for the six months to September from a year earlier.

The firm, which owns Cosmopolitan Hotel in Causeway Bay and Lan Kwai Fong Hotel in Central, attributed the decline mainly to a higher base in the year-earlier period, which benefited from a gain of HK$445.1 million recognised from the disposal of a subsidiary. In May 2012, the firm sold the 182-room Dorsett Regency Hong Kong in Kennedy Town to China Construction Bank for HK$802 million.

Chiu said Hong Kong's hotel industry had room for expansion. Dorsett Hospitality has been submitting bids for hotel sites that come up for tender and will continue to look for development opportunities in the city, she said without identifying the locations. "Our next step is moving towards 10,000 rooms," she said.