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SPOTLIGHT...........................................................................................................................

The Ascott Group’s (Ascott) net profit for the year 2007 was S$177.3 million, an increase of 8% compared to 2006. This was due to stronger profit from the Group’s operating assets, and higher portfolio gains from asset divestment and revaluation of Ascott's share of Ascott Residence Trust's (ART) properties.

Ascott’s profit from operating assets hit S$52.5 million in 2007, a double-digit growth of 25% compared to the previous year. This was attributed to better operating performances in most of the markets in which the Group has presence as well as higher fee-based income from managing ART and Ascott China Fund.

Separately, ART which is 28% owned by Ascott, achieved a unitholders’ distribution of S$45.1 million for the year ended 31 December 2007, an 83% increase over the previous year and 12% higher than forecast. This was due to the acquisition of properties in Ho Chi Minh City, Manila, Melbourne and Tokyo in 2007, and strong overall operating performance. Distribution per unit was 7.70 cents, a 47% increase over 2006 and 9% higher than forecast.

 
Johnson Chua, Ascott’s Area General Manager of North China, and Iris Kwan, Publisher of TravelWeekly China, at the awards ceremony in Beijing.
Somerset West Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam.
ASIA......................................................................................................................................

Ascott has won two top awards – one in China and the other in Vietnam – for the second year running.

In December 2007, Ascott was voted the 'Best Serviced Residence' by readers of TravelWeekly China for the second consecutive year. The annual TravelWeekly China Awards recognise the most outstanding performers in China's travel industry. Ascott bagged the award for both the inbound and outbound categories which were new categories introduced last year.

In Vietnam, Ascott was once again presented the prestigious Golden Dragon Award in 2007 for the ‘Best Foreign-Invested Enterprise’. The award is organised by the Vietnam Economic Times in conjunction with Vietnam's Ministry of Planning and Investment, with the support of several government agencies. It honours the success of foreign-invested enterprises in Vietnam and acknowledges the contributions of foreign investors to the country’s economy. Ascott first won the Golden Dragon Award in 2006, when it was the first Singapore-based international serviced residence company to be conferred the award.

 
 
ASIA......................................................................................................................................

Ascott has acquired its first property in Hyderabad, making it the first international serviced residence company to enter the city.

The new 218-unit property, to be named Citadines Hyderabad Hitec City, is targetted to open in the first half of 2010. Ascott will invest INR407.6 million (S$15.0 million) to acquire a 49% equity stake in the property, while its partner, The Rattha Group, will hold the remaining majority stake.

Citadines Hyderabad Hitec City is Ascott’s fifth serviced residence in India. The other four properties which are under construction are Somerset Whitefield, Bangalore, Citadines Chennai Boulevard, Citadines Chennai OMR Gateway and Somerset Greenways, Chennai. These serviced residences are slated to open between 2008 and 2009.

 
Artist’s impression of Somerset Ampang.
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Ascott has signed a conditional agreement to purchase a 208-unit serviced residence in the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s ‘Golden Triangle’, the business, shopping and entertainment district marked by Jalan Ampang, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Bukit Bintang.

The property, to be named Somerset Ampang and purchased at a price of RM112.5 million (S$47.5 million), is Ascott’s sixth property in Malaysia. When it opens in the first half of 2010, Somerset Ampang will be part of a 23-storey integrated development which will house one of Malaysia’s leading medical, heart and diagnostic centre.

The Ampang area where the property is located is a popular residential district among expatriates. Somerset Ampang will feature comprehensive facilities including a swimming pool, gymnasium and children’s playground.

 

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The Ascott Group is the world's largest international serviced residence
owner-operator, with close to 21,000 serviced residence units in key cities of
Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region.

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Singapore 068811

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