SINGAPORE - CapitaLand's lodging business unit, The Ascott, has stepped up its global expansion with the opening of 7,500 units in over 40 properties this year, a new record for the company, it announced on Wednesday (Dec 18).
Among the new properties opened this year are four in Singapore - Citadines Rochor, Citadines Balestier, lyf Funan and Ji Hotel.
It also inked 25 new franchise and management contracts for properties totaling over 3,400 units, closing the year with the signing of over 14,100 units across about 100 properties. This includes its acquisitions of two properties in Sydney, Australia, this year through its real estate investment trust (Reit), Ascott Residence Trust and its private fund Ascott Global Serviced Residence Fund.
The Ascott has reached about 115,000 units in more than 700 properties worldwide with its signing of the 25 new properties across Asia Pacific and Africa, said its chief executive Kevin Goh.
He said over 60 per cent of The Ascott's portfolio, which is operational, has contributed $182.1 million of fee income.
"Next year, we are targeting to open about 10,000 units, further boosting our fee income. We are on track to achieve our global target of 160,000 units by 2023, and will continue to grow recurring income via management contracts, franchises, leases and strategic alliances as well as invest in quality assets," Mr Goh said.
The Ascott also made its first foray into new cities such as Vung Tau in Vietnam and Abidjan in Ivory Coast.
It also expanded its presence in Singapore and the region, with the properties set to open in phases from 2020 to 2025.
Mr Goh said that one of the company's key growth strategies is to expand through its Reits and funds, noting that the combination of Ascott Residence Trust and Ascendas Hospitality Trust would be the largest hospitality trust in the Asia-Pacific with an asset value of $7.6 billion.
"As a sponsor of the enlarged trust, Ascott will benefit from the trust's stable yield and growth as well as earn fund management fees. On the other hand, the enlarged trust will benefit from Ascott's sponsorship and pipeline of quality assets, as we continue with our proactive capital recycling and investment strategies," he added.
The company has been transforming its digital ecosystem, updating its backend property management system to a cloud-based, scalable system and adopting a new revenue management system.