Thai political crisis hits Banyan Tree, 4Q profits down 27%

Fourth quarter earnings at Banyan Tree Holdings fell 27 per cent as income from its Thai resorts were hit by the political crisis there.

Net profit for the three months to Dec 31 were $3.66 million, down from $5 million a year ago. Revenue was just about flat at $97.91 million, from $97.46 million a year earlier.

The political rallies began in November last year in Bangkok, said Banyan Tree.

"Many countries have issued travel advisories to Thailand which impacted the tourist arrivals," the company added in its results announcement.

Revenue per available room (Revpar) for the company's resorts in Thailand decreased by 10 per cent in the quarter, while the Revpar for the Maldives resorts increased by 20 per cent and the Revpar in Seychelles rose 39 per cent. Revpar is a performance indicator in the hotel and resorts industries.

Banyan Tree said that full-year earnings rose 22 per cent to $18.15 million with revenue up 5 per cent to $356.15 million.

Full-year turnover rose at the hotel investments segment, but fell at the property sales and fee-based segments. The resorts in Thailand had recorded higher revenue in the first nine months prior to the return of political unrest in the fourth quarter. There was better performance from the Maldives and Seychelles resorts due to strong demand from the leisure market.

Property sales revenue fell as the company completed and recognised fewer units.

"The ongoing strife in Thailand - the worst political crisis since 2010, when protests turned violent - has slowed down our business in the fourth quarter, the high season of the year," said executive chairman Ho Kwon Ping in a statement. "However, we are comforted that we are able to reduce the adverse impact these events had on our results following our conscious efforts to rebalance our assets in the last few years."

Full-year earnings per share were 2.39 cents, from 1.96 cents a year earlier. Net asset value per share was 72 cents at Dec 31, unchanged from a year earlier. The company declared a first and final dividend of one cent per share. A final dividend of 0.651 cent per share had been paid for the 2012 financial year.

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