Banyan Tree posts worst loss of S$27.5m for 2015, blames 'perfect storm'

Banyan Tree executive chairman Ho Kwon Ping.
Banyan Tree executive chairman Ho Kwon Ping.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Banyan Tree Holdings suffered its worst loss in 2015, after sunking into the red in the fourth quarter.

The luxury resort developer posted a net loss of S$18.4 million for the three months to Dec 31, from a net profit of S$4.1 million for the year-ago quarter.

Revenue rose 34 per cent to S$123.2 million from S$91.8 million previously but this was more than offset by provision for bad debts of S$13.7 million and the absence of fair value gains on investment properties.

The allowances for doubtful debts for the full-year swelled 337 per cent to 16.3 million.

For the full year, net loss came to S$27.5 million from a net profit of S$1.0 million a year ago. Revenue rose 13 per cent to S$370.7 million from S$327.4 million.

"2015 was the perfect storm for the Banyan Tree Group," said its executive chairman Ho Kwon Ping.

"We started the year with great momentum in property sales and hotel bookings. But due to a confluence of factors, ranging from the devaluation of the Russian rouble to problems in many of our source markets as well as stoppages in hotel design projects affecting our fee based income, we posted the worst loss in our history."

He said that given the global economic slowdown, the group is currently streamlining its business and relooking at its business structure "to create a more lean and integrated platform for sustainable growth".

No dividend was declared compared to a payout of 0.13 cents per share for 2014.