CPN ready for 44% more malls

CPN ready for 44% more malls

Central Plaza Rama III, one of the retail complexes under CPN. The company operates 34 shopping centres, 33 in Thailand and one in Malaysia.
Central Plaza Rama III, one of the retail complexes under CPN. The company operates 34 shopping centres, 33 in Thailand and one in Malaysia.

Central Pattana (CPN), the SET-listed property and retail developer under Central Group, looks set to allocate 115 billion baht to expand business during 2020-24.

Naparat Sriwanvit, the company's chief financial officer and senior executive vice-president for finance, accounting and risk management, said about 70% of spending will be set aside to expand the retail business, with 15% each for residential projects and hotel and office buildings.

Some 60% of the expansion plan will focus on Bangkok, with upcountry markets making up the rest.

Ms Naparat said the company has more than 1,000 rai to support future expansions.

"Under the company's five-year business plan, the number of total retail complexes under CPN is projected to increase by more than 44% to 49 branches from 34 at the end of last year," she said.

"The leasable area will increase to 2.7 million square metres in 2024 from 1.8 million sq m at the end of last year."

Some 49% of the company's leasable area would be in Bangkok, with 45% in upcountry areas and the remaining in other countries.

In addition to new retail projects, the spending plan also calls for about 10 new hotels and 15-25 new residential development projects during the next five years.

CPN operates 34 shopping centres -- 33 in Thailand and one in Malaysia.

Ms Naparat said with its five-year growth strategy, CPN aims to achieve a compound annual growth rate of revenue of 12% per year, driven largely by mixed-use developments, new shopping mall developments, enhancement of existing malls and residential project development.

CPN has also been studying oppor- tunities to expand internationally, explore investment opportunities in new businesses, as well as mergers and acquisitions to accommodate sustainable growth.

Regarding the new coronavirus outbreak, she said eight malls in Bangkok as well as some tourist destinations have felt the pinch. Traffic at these locations is usually 30-40% foreign tourists, but this segment has dropped by 10-20% during the past two weeks.

If the outbreak is prolonged for two months, Ms Naparat said the company's revenue is likely to decline by 1% in the first quarter of this year.

"We are coming up with aid measures on a case-by-case basis to help our tenants," she said.

The company is also scheduled to launch activities to draw foreign shoppers from neighbouring countries and India, adjusting product offerings to meet their demand.

Despite the deadly virus outbreak, Ms Naparat expects the company to tally revenue growth of 8% this year.

CPN reported total revenue worth 38.4 billion baht in 2019, an increase of 8.7% from the previous year, with net profit of 11.7 billion, up 4.7%.

CPN's shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 53.75 baht, down 2.75 baht, in trade worth 869 million baht.


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