Ascott to manage 6 more properties in China, appoints new COO

Ascott Xiangjiang FFC Changsha.
Ascott Xiangjiang FFC Changsha.PHOTO: THE ASCOTT LTD
Citadines Qingshan SCPG Centre Wuhan.
Citadines Qingshan SCPG Centre Wuhan.PHOTO: THE ASCOTT LTD
Tujia Somerset Congtai Handan.
Tujia Somerset Congtai Handan.PHOTO: THE ASCOTT LTD

SINGAPORE - The Ascott Ltd, CapitaLand's wholly owned serviced residence business unit, has secured contracts to manage six properties with more than 1,200 apartment units in China.

The new properties entrench Ascott's presence in Changsha, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Wuhan, while extending its footprint to two more cities - Handan and Xuzhou, said the company on Thursday (Jan 19).

It said it is also poised to boost its fee income by opening a record of more than 30 properties worldwide this year, of which 16 will be in China.

Said Mr Lee Chee Koon, Ascott's chief executive officer: "Ascott crossed the 50,000-unit milestone last year, and there will be no let-up in our efforts to build up Ascott's global scale and accelerate our growth in 2017. By expanding our network, the management fees we get over time will strengthen Ascott's earnings profile to deliver sustainable returns and drive return on equity.

"We clinched a record 10,000 units in 2016 and this is expected to contribute S$25 million to S$30 million of fee income to Ascott annually as the properties progressively open and stabilise. As we expand across our different brands to offer more accommodation choices and tailored experiences to our customers internationally, we are confident of achieving our global target of 80,000 units by 2020."

In China, Ascott is one of the leading international serviced residence owner-operators with more than 17,300 units in 96 properties across 27 cities. Of the six new serviced residences secured, Citadines Sunhope e-Metro Shenzhen, Ascott's largest property in China, is slated to open this year. Citadines Qingshan SCPG Centre Wuhan and Tujia Somerset Jundu Tianjin are scheduled to open next year while Ascott Xiangjiang FFC Changsha, Citadines Yunlong Lake Xuzhou and Tujia Somerset Congtai Handan will start operations from 2019. Last year, Ascott opened 14 properties in China, adding over 2,000 units to its portfolio.

Ascott also announced on Thusrday the appointment of Mr Kevin Goh as chief operating officer to assist the CEO in overseeing operational aspects of the business and new growth opportunities, especially relating to its digital and online strategy. Prior to this, Mr Goh was Ascott's managing director for North Asia since 2013, responsible for investments and operations in China, Japan and Korea.