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Mon, 24 April 2023

Ascott to Double Fee Revenue in Next Five Years

(24/04/23)  Ascott, a lodging business owned by CapitaLand Investment, has achieved its target of securing 160,000 units by 2023, with the signing of over 4,000 units in Q1 this year.

In light of this positive performance, Ascott has renewed its target to double fee revenue to more than S$500 million in the next five years.

The fee revenue target is set off the FY 2022 base of S$258 million – the highest earnings on record for Ascott.

Fee revenue from the lodging business increased by 36% year-on-year in FY 2022 on the back of record signings and property openings.

Lounge at Citadines Saint Germain des Pres in Paris, France. Click to enlarge.
Lounge at Citadines Saint Germain des Pres in Paris, France

Ascott also achieved a record net room growth of 20% in FY 2022, underpinned by its acquisition of Oakwood which added about 15,000 units to its portfolio, of which approximately 8,000 are operational units that contributed to its fee revenue.

In the last five years, Ascott has rapidly grown its operational units from more than 56,000 units in 2018 to over 95,000 units in 2022. This year, it expects to open more than 13,500 units in over 70 properties.

Ascott plans to continue expanding its product offerings with a portfolio of serviced residences, hotels, coliving and senior living brands, positioned from mid to luxury scale.

The company anticipates that fee revenue growth will be driven by new property openings as well as new signings at an expected annual net room growth rate of 8-10% in the next five years.

Kevin Goh, Chief Executive Officer for Ascott and CapitaLand Investment Lodging, said, “With our asset-light strategy, Ascott has doubled in units every five years, growing from about 20,000 units in 2008 to over 160,000 units today. We are now seeing the positive financial impact of growing our portfolio by eight-fold and will focus on driving even stronger fee growth over the next five years. Over 80% of our total units are under management and franchise contracts, up from 43% ten years ago. These management and franchise contracts typically have sticky recurring fee revenue and long tenures.”

Ascott also demonstrated strong operating performance in FY 2022, with a 40% y-o-y increase in revenue per available unit (RevPAU) with the recovery of international travel.

Launched in the latter half of 2019, Ascott’s loyalty programme - Ascott Star Rewards (ASR) - has also grown exponentially despite the complications caused by COVID19. In 2022, ASR membership grew 36%, with member revenue increasing five-fold from 2021.

“To achieve our new growth target, we will secure more management and franchise contracts for prime properties that generate higher quality fees and leverage our strong brand equity and direct distribution channels to deliver greater value to property owners and customers,” added Mr Goh. “In addition to ramping up the opening of our properties, we will be stepping up efforts to upgrade several of our strategically located properties into brand flagship assets. Properties in the pipeline for these asset enhancement initiatives include The Robertson House by The Crest Collection in Singapore, The Cavendish London and Citadines Saint-Germain-des-Prés Paris (pictured), which will be re-branded under The Crest Collection. Besides powering growth organically, we will also actively seek strategic merger and acquisition opportunities to accelerate our ambition to be a significant global player in the lodging space. With vertically integrated capabilities, we can also leverage our strong investment and asset management capabilities to expand through our sponsored lodging trust and private funds.”

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