Banyan Tree Q4 profit rises 13%, but revenue hit by weaker Russian market

SINGAPORE - Mainboard-listed Banyan Tree Holdings reported on Thursday that its net profit rose 13 per cent to $4.13 million for its fourth quarter ended Dec 31, 2014, from the year-ago period, mainly due to a gain on revaluation of investment properties in Seychelles.

Revenue for the quarter dropped 6 per cent to $91.83 million, due to lower contribution from architectural and design fees from China projects, and less revenue from hotel operations, particularly from its key Russian market.

"Performance of our properties in Thailand, Seychelles and Maldives were largely affected by the drop in demand from the European market, in particular, the Russian market due to the depreciation of the rouble and economic crisis in Russia caused by the falling oil prices and international economic sanctions imposed on the country," said the company.

Overall revenue per available room fell by 9 per cent to $180 for its resorts in Thailand, by 11 per cent to $594 for its resort in Seychelles, and by 2 per cent to $489 for its resorts in Maldives.

For the full 2014 fiscal year, the company saw net profit slide 94 per cent to $1.03 million from that in 2013. Revenue fell 8 per cent to $327.4 million in FY14. Banyan Tree said revenue from hotel investments fell as the performance of its resorts in Thailand during the first nine months of 2014 was significantly affected by the political unrest in Thailand, which included the imposition of martial law since 22 May 2014.

Mr Ho Kwon Ping, Banyan Tree's executive chairman, said: "The pick-up in business volume for Q4, our high season, was slower than expected following the sharp decline in oil prices which affected the Russia market."

"Going forward, amid the volatility in the global economy, we are cautiously optimistic of a better performance in 2015 boosted in part by confirmed property sales totaling $110 million which will be substantially recognised in 2015."

He added that the outlook for the company's planned property sales in Wenjiang, Chengdu, was positive,as it had to-date received pre-launch booking deposits for 151 units, representing 71 per cent of total units available for sales under Phase 1A.

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