Banyan Tree in the black for first time since 2015

A Banyan Tree villa in Phuket. Banyan Tree Holdings' fourth-quarter revenue increased 9 per cent, partly due to higher turnover from its Thailand, Seychelles, Indonesia and Morocco resorts.
A Banyan Tree villa in Phuket. Banyan Tree Holdings' fourth-quarter revenue increased 9 per cent, partly due to higher turnover from its Thailand, Seychelles, Indonesia and Morocco resorts.PHOTO: BANYAN TREE

One-off gains helped luxury resort developer Banyan Tree Holdings get back in the black for the first time since 2015, when it suffered its worst loss.

Profit came in at $12.93 million for the 12 months to Dec 31, a stark turnaround from the $16.2 million loss in 2016. Revenue was up 3 per cent to $317.5 million.

The better performance was largely due to a $21.2 million increase in other income, mainly gains from the deconsolidation of certain entities after an agreement with China Vanke last August to create Banyan Tree Assets (China) Holdings.

Net profit for the fourth quarter fell 54 per cent to $3.9 million, mostly because of the absence of the benefit enjoyed last year from a reclassification in net fair value gain after Thai Wah became the group's associate.

Revenue increased 9 per cent, thanks to the recognition of the sales of 31 units of Cassia Phuket (Phase 2) and higher turnover from its Thailand, Seychelles, Indonesia and Morocco resorts, and partially offset by lower revenue from China and Maldives.

Executive chairman Ho Kwon Ping, at a results briefing yesterday, said he was cheered by the global economic recovery under way. Overall forward bookings for the first quarter for Banyan Tree's owned hotels are 15 per cent above that in the same period last year, boosted by strong performances in Thailand.

"We had one or two difficult years, and we think the turnaround is clearly here," Mr Ho said. "We see only positive signs and we intend to capitalise on these as much as possible."

  • AT A GLANCE

  • REVENUE: $317.5 million (+3%)

  • NET PROFIT: $12.9 million (comparison not meaningful)

  • FINAL DIVIDEND PER SHARE: 1 cent

He pointed to the group's strategic partnership inked last year with AccorHotels to develop and manage Banyan Tree-branded hotels around the world. "We are discussing about a dozen or so projects with Accor and a few will be announced in the near future."

Banyan Tree announced on Monday that it is offering 40 baht apiece for the 57.08 million shares - or about 34.25 per cent of the total shares - it does not yet own in its unit Laguna Resorts & Hotels, which mainly operates the integrated resort of Laguna Phuket.

It has proposed a dividend of one cent a share, its first since its 0.13 cent a share paid out for 2014.

Banyan Tree shares closed one cent lower at 62 cents yesterday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 28, 2018, with the headline 'Banyan Tree in the black for first time since 2015'. Print Edition | Subscribe