Erawan Group targets 87 properties under 5-year plan

Erawan Group targets 87 properties under 5-year plan

SET-listed Erawan Group Plc (ERW) is set to continue investment plans under its five-year strategy, planning to reach 87 properties with some 10,000 rooms by 2020.

Speaking to investors at the Stock Exchange of Thailand on Monday, Kanyarat Krisnathevin, executive vice-president and chief financial officer, said the group is on course to open nine hotels in Thailand this year. Seven hotels will be operated under the Hop Inn brand with a total of 573 rooms, and two hotels in Bangkok -- the Mercure and Ibis Sukhumvit 24 -- have 300 rooms combined.

Erawan Group started partial renovation of JW Marriott Bangkok in April. All 133 rooms will open for service in the final quarter this year.

Other soft renovation projects are hotels under the Ibis brand, including Ibis Sathorn with 103 rooms and Ibis Patong with 130 rooms. They are scheduled to be finished later this year, Ms Kanyarat told investors on Monday.

Erawan Group reported 1.34 billion baht in hotel operating income in the second quarter, up 4% year-on-year, while income for the first six months stood at 3.04 billion baht, up 1%.

Some 41% of revenue in the second quarter was from luxury hotels, consisting of Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok, JW Marriott Bangkok, Renaissance Koh Samui Resort and Spa and the Naka Island in Phuket.

The remaining income comes from mid-scale hotels and the economy segment, such as Hop Inn, both in Thailand and the Philippines.

Ms Kanyarat said the occupancy rate for hotels in Thailand, excluding Hop Inn, stood at 75% during the second quarter, down from 78% in the same period last year, while the occupancy rate for the first half was 81%, down from 84% a year earlier.

The occupancy rate for 36 hotels under the Hop Inn brand in the second quarter fell by two percentage points year-on-year to 74%, while it was 73% for the first six months, down from 76% a year earlier.

Based on the company's study of the Chinese tourism market, mainlanders are still travelling abroad, but less so to Thailand and Vietnam.

Ms Kanyarat said Chinese tourists are a major market of Erawan Group, due to their lengthy stays averaging eight days. But the number of Chinese visiting Thailand fell by 4.7% to 5.9 million in the first six months of 2019 because of the slow economy, the strong baht and last year's boat accident in Phuket.

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