Feb 28, 2014

    Thai political crisis hits Banyan Tree Q4 profit

    FOURTH-QUARTER earnings at Banyan Tree Holdings fell 27 per cent as income from its Thai resorts was hit by the political crisis there.

    Net profit for the three months to Dec 31 was $3.66 million, down from $5 million a year ago. Revenue was just about flat at $97.91 million, from $97.46 million a year earlier.

    The political rallies began in November in Bangkok, said Banyan Tree.

    "Many countries have issued travel advisories on Thailand, which impacted tourist arrivals," the company added in its results announcement.

    Revenue per available room (RevPAR) for the firm's resorts in Thailand fell 10 per cent in the quarter, while RevPAR for Maldives resorts increased 20 per cent and RevPAR in Seychelles rose 39 per cent.

    Banyan Tree said that full-year earnings rose 22 per cent to $18.15 million, with revenue up 5 per cent to $356.15 million.

    Full-year turnover rose in the hotel investments segment, but fell in the property sales and fee-based segments.

    The resorts in Thailand had recorded higher revenue in the first nine months of last year, prior to the return of political unrest in the fourth quarter. There was better performance from the Maldives and Seychelles resorts due to strong demand from the leisure market.

    Property sales revenue fell as the company completed and recognised fewer units.

    "The ongoing strife in Thailand...has slowed down our business in the fourth quarter, the high season of the year," said executive chairman Ho Kwon Ping in a statement.

    "However, we are comforted that we are able to reduce the adverse impact...following our conscious efforts to rebalance our assets in the last few years."