Kate O'Keeffe. Wall Street Journal (Online). New York, N.Y.: Mar 17, 2010. Abstract (Summary)
HONG KONG--Luxury hotel operator Shangri-La Asia Ltd. said Wednesday its 2009 net profit rose 54%, lifted by higher property prices, though its core hotels business suffered from a sharp drop in demand due to the global financial crisis. » Jump to indexing (document details)
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(c) 2010 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Reproduced with permission of copyright owner. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission. HONG KONG--Luxury hotel operator Shangri-La Asia Ltd. said Wednesday its 2009 net profit rose 54%, lifted by higher property prices, though its core hotels business suffered from a sharp drop in demand due to the global financial crisis. The economic crisis hit the hospitality sector as businesses restricted employee travel and tourist numbers declined. The industry has lagged other sectors in its recovery outlook, even as demand has been making a comeback since the end of 2008. The Hong Kong-listed company, which is controlled by Malaysian businessman Robert Kuok Hock-nien, said though it expects improvements in its business this year and next, it doesn't expect to return to pre-crisis levels until 2012. "We've been fairly encouraged by the last 10 to 12 weeks," said Shangri-La Chief Financial Officer Madhu Rao at a news conference, adding there has been a return in business travellers. He also said he expects the second half of this year to be better than the first. Shangri-La, which owned stakes in 49 hotels at the end of last year, said its net profit for 2009 totaled US$255.5 million, up from US$165.9 million a year earlier. Revenue fell 9% to US$1.23 billion from US$1.35 billion. The strength in Shangri-La's earnings was mainly due to a US$327.1 million non-cash property revaluation gain, up from US$13 million in 2008, reflecting higher property rates. The company has...