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Mr Alfred Ong, Ascott’s SVP, Operations (centre), celebrating with Ascott colleagues at the TTG Travel Awards Ceremony in Thailand.
 
SPOTLIGHT...........................................................................................................................

For the third year running, The Ascott Group has been voted the ‘Best Serviced Residence Operator’ by readers of TTG Asia Media’s publications, which include TTG Asia, TTGmice, TTG China and TTG-BTmice China. The annual TTG Travel Awards recognise the most outstanding performers in Asia Pacific’s travel industry.

Separately, at the 2007 World Travel Awards, Ascott Auckland Metropolis was voted ‘Australasia’s Leading Hotel’. This is the second time the serviced residence has received the top honour. Besides this award, Ascott Auckland Metropolis also came up tops as ‘New Zealand's Leading Hotel’ for the third consecutive year. Winners of the annual World Travel Awards were voted by close to 170,000 travel professionals worldwide.

In addition, Ascott’s flagship brand, ‘Ascott The Residence’, has been voted the ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’ in China by readers of Business Traveller China for the third year running. This is the fourth award the Group has received from Business Traveller’s readers polls this year.

 
 
CORPORATE.........................................................................................................................

The Ascott Group’s revenue in 3Q 2007 was S$116.5 million, a 17% increase over the revenue in 3Q 2006. Net profit on operating assets also grew 4% to S$12.7 million, attributed to better operating performances in most clusters as well as higher fee-based income from managing Ascott Residence Trust (ART) and Ascott China Fund.

The Group’s operating earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization also recorded a 16% jump from S$27.6 million in 3Q 2006 to S$31.9 million in 3Q 2007.

Separately, ART achieved a unitholders’ distribution of S$12.0 million for the period 1 July 2007 to 30 September 2007, a 84% increase over the same period last year. Distribution per unit for the same period was 1.99 cents, an increase of 39% over 3Q 2006. This was also 9% higher than the forecast of 1.82 cents.

 
At the contract signing ceremony:
Seated: Mr Daniel Gupta, Amtel’s CEO (left) and Mr Gerald Lee, Ascott’s Deputy CEO, Operations;
Standing: Ms Jennie Chua, Ascott’s President & CEO (left) and Mr Sudhir Gupta, Founder and Chairman of Amtel.

 
EUROPE.................................................................................................................................

Ascott has secured a management contract from Amtel Properties Development for a new serviced residence in Georgia, making it the first international serviced residence company to enter the country. To be named Citadines Tbilisi Freedom Square, the 65-unit property is expected to open in the second half of 2008.

Georgia is bordered on the north by Russia, the south by Turkey and Armenia, and the east by Azerbaijan. The country is seeing increasing business travellers and with its rich cultural and historical heritage, Georgia has a strong tourism appeal.

Citadines Tbilisi Freedom Square is centrally located in the heart of town and is within walking distance to cafes, restaurants and supermarkets. The seven-storey property brings Ascott’s European portfolio to over 5,600 units in 49 properties.

 
Artist’s impression of
Citadines Kyoto Gojo.

 
ASIA PACIFIC.......................................................................................................................

Kyoto will be the second city in Japan after Tokyo to have a Citadines serviced residence.

Citadines Kyoto Gojo, a joint development between Ascott and its long-standing partner, Mitsubishi Estate Co Ltd (MEC), is scheduled to open in the first half of 2010. Ascott will invest about S$20.6 million and take a 40% equity stake in the property, while MEC will hold the remaining 60%. Ascott will also manage the property once it is completed.

Located near the Gojo subway station, which is one stop away from the main Kyoto station for Shinkansen, Citadines Kyoto Gojo enjoys a prime address in Gojo. The 126-unit property is within walking distance to the city’s business district and tourist belt, with key attractions, F&B outlets, shopping malls and supermarkets in the vicinity.

Ascott’s other Citadines property in Japan, Citadines Tokyo Shinjuku, is scheduled to open in the first half of 2009.

 
 
One of the 18 rental housing properties acquired by ART.
ASIA PACIFIC.......................................................................................................................

Ascott Residence Trust (ART) has signed a conditional sales and purchase agreement to acquire 18 rental housing properties in Tokyo for a total purchase price of ¥12.2 billion (S$158.6 million).

The properties comprise 509 units in eight wards in Tokyo, namely Shinjuku, Bunkyo, Meguro, Setagaya, Nakano, Suginami, Nerima and Taito Ku. They will be managed by Ascott International Management Japan Co. Ltd, a 60:40 joint venture between The Ascott Group Ltd and Mitsubishi Estate Co. Ltd, upon legal completion.

Japan enjoys an established and growing rental housing market. ART’s acquisition of the 18 properties in Tokyo will thus offer investors added exposure to this market in one of the world’s most important economic centres.

 

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The Ascott Group is the largest international serviced residence
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Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region.

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