Company Briefs: The Ascott

The Ascott

The Ascott, CapitaLand's wholly owned serviced residence arm, has inked contracts to manage eight new serviced residences in six high-growth cities in China.

The company will manage the outlets through its Ascott, Citadines and Tujia Somerset brands in Beijing, Chongqing, Haikou, Hangzhou, Shanghai and Xiamen.

One of the new serviced residences, Tujia Somerset Palm Springs Chongqing, is already operational. The other seven are scheduled to open between next year and 2020.

The properties, which have around 1,200 units in total, will boost Ascott's leading position in China, as it secures a record number of more than 2,800 apartment units across 16 new properties this year, CapitaLand said yesterday. Ascott has also opened 10 properties in China with about 1,900 units.

"Ascott has made tremendous inroads into China this year. As we scale new heights, we are closing in on our target of 20,000 apartment units in China and 80,000 units globally by 2020," said chief executive Lee Chee Koon.

"By expanding our network of serviced residences and our suite of brands, we will be able to capture an even larger market share to better cater to the varying needs of business and leisure travellers."

UOL Group

Lower gross profit margins and reduced contributions from joint venture companies dragged down third-quarter earnings at UOL Group.

Net profit for the three months ended Sept 30 slid 14 per cent to $87.1 million compared with $100.8 million in the same period last year.

However, revenue grew 11 per cent to $393.4 million, with property development as well as hotel and other management services chalking up double-digit growth, said UOL.

Earnings per share came to 10.9 cents, lower than the 12.76 cents posted previously. Net asset value per share stood at $9.94 as at Sept 30, up slightly from $9.91 as at Dec 31 last year.

UOL said demand for new homes is expected to remain sluggish, while the weak global economic outlook will continue to weigh on the performance of its hotels.

Separately, it announced that it had bought 162,100 shares of associated firm United Industrial Corporation at around $2.72 apiece through a wholly owned unit, raising its stake in the company to 44.561 per cent.

UOL shares closed unchanged yesterday at $5.70, before the results were announced.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 11, 2016, with the headline 'Company Briefs'. Subscribe