Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, the global hotel operator expanding aggressively on the mainland, said first-half underlying earnings surged 150 per cent as one of its Hong Kong hotels resumed operation after refurbishment.
Net income for Singapore-listed Mandarin Oriental rose to US$50.3 million, 5.19 US cents a share, for the six months to June, up 3 per cent from a year ago.
Excluding gains on property and an investment stake disposal, underlying profit jumped to US$34.3 million from US$13.7 million.
Earnings were boosted by the re-opening of its Mandarin Oriental hotel in Central and strong growth in London, Geneva, Singapore and New York, group financial officer John Witt said.
The company operates 20 hotels and resorts globally, with 16 new projects in the pipeline.
The Central hotel's average room rate reached HK$3,000 in the first half of this year, 50 per cent more than before the renovation, Mr Witt said in an interview last night. The hotel's occupancy was 72 per cent in the first half.
Mr Witt said the company, which has three projects on the mainland, was interested in operating hotels in Shanghai.
"Shanghai is a city that we are very much focused on ... we have been looking at a number of projects," he said, adding that the company's strategy was to secure management contracts globally.
Mandarin Oriental in May announced that it will manage a deluxe hotel in Beijing, which is part of the capital's upcoming landmark China Central Television development in Chaoyang district.
The project is due to open mid-next year, in time for the Olympic Games. The hotel will be the group's third property under development in the mainland after those in Guangzhou and Hainan.
Meanwhile, Dairy Farm International Holdings, a Singapore-listed firm that runs supermarkets and convenience stores across Asia, posted a 17.4 per cent increase in first-half net profit, benefiting from the region's surging consuming power.
Net income rose to US$101 million or 7.52 US cents a share, for the six months to the end of June, while turnover rose 11 per cent to US$3.21 billion.
The group's businesses in Asia, including retail chains Wellcome, Mannings, 7-Eleven and IKEA in Hong Kong and 7-Eleven stores in the mainland, recorded 21 per cent growth in operating profit to US$65 million, accounting for 57.5 per cent of the groups' operating profit.
Dairy Farm and Mandarin Oriental are units of Jardine Matheson Group. Source: South China Morning Post