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Ascott achieves over 40% y-o-y unit growth globally boosted by record signings in Vietnam

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Fee income potential continues to grow as global portfolio increases by over 8,300 units across more than 30 properties year to date.

CapitaLand’s wholly owned lodging business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has secured over 8,300 units across more than 30 properties in the first seven months of 2021, achieving over 40% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth compared to the same period in 2020. This builds on Ascott’s fourth consecutive year of record growth despite COVID-19, delivering approximately 20% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) since 2017. At S$20–25 million of fees to be earned for every 10,000 stabilised serviced residence units, fee income contribution is expected to increase as units in the pipeline turn operational. To date, Ascott has more than 128,000 units globally and is on track to achieve its target of 160,000 units by 2023. Ascott’s expansion will further consolidate its position as one of the leading international lodging owner-operators worldwide.

Amongst the latest additions to Ascott’s growing global portfolio is the contract to manage the largest serviced residence development in Vietnam with over 1,900 units. The iconic integrated development in Hanoi will feature three of Ascott’s lodging brands. It marks the introduction of The Crest Collection in Vietnam and Ascott The Residence in Hanoi, and will comprise Ascott’s fastest growing brand Citadines Apart’hotel. The development is expected to open in phases from 2022.

In addition, Ascott is inking another Citadines property in Hanoi this month. It has also secured two management contracts for the first time in Lao Cai; a Citadines-branded serviced apartment and the first Preference-branded hotel in Vietnam, the 167-key Paddy Field Hotel by Preference in Sa Pa Town. Up to July this year, Ascott has already achieved a record of over 2,800 new units in Vietnam, exceeding its full year signings in the country in the previous years.

Besides Vietnam, Ascott is also fast expanding in China, adding over 2,900 units across 12 properties in Hefei, Ningbo, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Wuhan, and Xi’an. This includes the debut of Ascott’s Citadines Connect brand of business hotels in China. To further expand its global portfolio, Ascott will also make its first foray into Senegal and has sealed new properties in Brisbane in Australia; Phnom Penh in Cambodia; Paris in France; Jakarta, Lampung, Lubuk Linggau, as well as Putrajaya in Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia and Casablanca in Morocco1. These newly secured properties are slated to open between 2022 and 2027.

Mr Kevin Goh, CapitaLand’s Chief Executive Officer for Lodging, said: “This year, we continued to achieve strong growth by stepping up our expansion with more management contracts and strategic partnerships. We have opened over 3,000 units in 13 properties in China, Indonesia, Japan, Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. We expect to open about 50% more units than last year. Property owners and capital partners continue to work with Ascott as they recognise our resilient business model, and the value we create through our strong operational capabilities and ability to innovate to capture new businesses. Ascott will continue to capitalise on our competitive edge in the long-stay lodging segment and seek synergistic opportunities towards adjacent sectors, such as multifamily properties and purpose-built student accommodation, to expand our presence globally.”

The lodging management business is an important component of CapitaLand’s investment management strategy. The newly secured properties will increase Ascott’s recurring fee income as they open and stabilise, adding on to the over S$195 million in fee income contributed by our operational units in 2020. We have also increased our Fee Related Earnings (FRE)2 and expanded our Funds Under Management (FUM)3 to S$8 billion to date through a private fund as well as our sponsored Ascott Residence Trust. Ascott’s strong operating platform is well anchored by our fund and asset management capabilities. We will continue to build on this capital-efficient business model to earn an attractive FRE/FUM ratio, expand our capital partner base and increase recurring management fees,” added Mr Goh.

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