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Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Nomad Group to expand new core business

KUALA LUMPUR: The Nomad Group Bhd, previously known as Kuala Lumpur City Corp Bhd, plans to expand its new core business in serviced residences to Penang and Thailand as well as increase the number of its serviced office centres to eight by year-end.

It hopes to acquire a hotel with at least four stars in Penang by middle of the year, chief executive officer Hew Thin Chay said after the company AGM and unveiling of its new corporate identity and logo yesterday.

Hew Thin Chay

The acquisition was estimated to cost about RM70mil, he said, adding that the company was looking at a yield of 6% and above.

On expansion to Thailand, Hew said talks to operate serviced residences in Bangkok were at the early stage but a deal was expected to materialise by year-end.

“We are looking at the location, size and yield of the acquisitions,” he said, adding that the company had net cash and equivalents of RM170mil currently.

Currently, The Nomad Group owns The Nomad Residences SuCasa serviced residences and The Nomad Residences Bangsar, which provide a total of 238 rooms.

“We hope to push the yield of The Nomad Residences SuCasa to 8% from the present 5% and The Nomad Residences Bangsar to 6% from zero yield,” Hew said, adding that the latter was due for launch in July.

Last year, the company acquired SuCasa Sdn Bhd for RM53mil and Bangsar Suria condominiums from Malaysian Assurance Alliance Bhd for RM34.5mil.

On the expansion of serviced offices, Hew said the group would operate two new centres – at Tower 2 of Etiqa Twins and The Gardens at Mid Valley City in Kuala Lumpur – by July.

Currently, it manages two serviced office centres with a total built-up area of 19,259 sq ft comprising 183 workstations in Singapore’s Raffles Place and Menara Hap Seng in Kuala Lumpur. It recently opened a centre at Suntec City Tower 2.

“We are also in the process of closing deals in Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok,” said Hew, noting that the company rented buildings in city centres to cater to the needs of mobile business travellers.

“We aim to operate eight serviced residences in eight locations by year-end,” said Hew, adding that the company had identified Manila and Jakarta as target locations.

The group registered a net profit of RM7.4mil on revenue of RM20.3mil for the year ended Dec 31, 2007.

By The Star

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