Thailand's AWC achieves Q3 turnaround, to invest 1.82 billion in more hotels, malls
BANGKOK, NNA – The Thai property and hospitality firm of billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi plans to invest 55 billion baht ($1.82 billion) in 13 projects such as hotels and malls over the next five years.
Asset World Corporation Public Co., which reported an impressive 200 percent increase in net profit in the July-September quarter this year, will build three new Marriott hotels worth 20.80 billion baht, two in Pattaya and one in Phuket as part of its growth-led strategy.
Expected to be ready in 2023, they are Pattaya Marriott Marquis Hotel, JW Marriott the Pattaya Beach Resort and Spa, and Courtyard by Marriott Phuket Town.
At the agreement signing ceremony with Marriott International in Bangkok on Thursday, Wallapa Traisorat, chief executive officer and president of AWC, said the firm will also renovate its Banyan Tree hotels in Pattaya and Krabi and build open-air malls in popular destinations like Phuket.
AWC, which has a portfolio of hotels, retail and office buildings and integrated mix-use developments, will operate as many as 8,506 hotel rooms, up from the current 4,421, and own over 415,481 square meters of land when its projects are completed in 2024, Wallapa added.
She said 25 billion baht will be spent on land acquisition, while the rest of the investment will cover operation costs.
The realtor also seeks to inject an additional 40 billion baht investment in the future, but this is still under consideration, said Wallapa.
On Wednesday, AWC reported its net profit more than tripled to 205.1 million baht in the third quarter, turning around a loss of 13.5 million baht during the same period last year. Its nine-month net profit was 557.5 million baht, which is a jump of 89 percent from the previous year.
The firm raised 48 billion baht in its initial public offering in late September, making it one of the biggest listings of an individual company in Thailand.
AWC comes under the huge umbrella of the Thai Charoen Corporation conglomerate (TCC) of Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, the fourth wealthiest man in Thailand, according to Forbes.
As of June, AWC's assets cover 29 properties in Southeast Asia’s second largest economy after Indonesia, worth a total of 92.35 billion baht.
Among its notable hospitality, retail, and commercial properties are Empire Tower, the largest office building in Bangkok; Park Ventures, a world-class ecoplex housing The Okura Prestige Bangkok and TCC office; Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, a landmark in Sukhumvit; Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok, and the open-air Asiatique the Riverfront lifestyle mall, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bangkok.
Thailand’s hotel and retail sectors will continue to see healthy growth in the next couple of years - thanks to the steady increase in tourist arrivals, said economists.
Researchers at Thailand’s Bank of Ayudhya expect the number of international tourists to rise 5 to 7 percent yearly from 2019 to 2021.
Last year, the Southeast Asian country received over 38 million international tourists or 7.5 percent more from 2017, according to data from the country’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports. Both international and domestic tourists spent over $102.65 billion in Thailand in 2018.
The ministry has forecast that tourist spending will hit $109.27 billion this year.
With the surge of visitor arrivals, Bank of Ayudhya expects the country’s hotel occupancy rate to edge up to 71.5 to 72.5 percent this year, slightly up from 71.4 percent in 2018.
Retail sales in Thailand are also likely to go up 11.1 percent to $171.6 billion, up from $154.6 billion in 2018, according to data from the Economist Intelligence Unit. It expects a 9.9 percent retail growth from 2016 to 2020.