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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Two YTL Corp resorts, hotel set for launch

YTL Corp Bhd is set to launch two resorts off the coast of Sabah, and a hotel in the Klang Valley for RM200 million by early next year.

"We will launch from February next year, pending local authorities' approval," executive director Datuk Mark Yeoh Seok Kah said.

While the hotel will be called Majestic Kuala Lumpur, the names of the resorts have yet to be finalised, he said.

Yeoh said the resorts are exquisite as each will be located on Pulau Gaya, which is the largest island in Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park and the closest to downtown Kota Kinabalu, and Pulau Tiga, which has been dubbed Survivor Island due to the popular television show.
"Despite the current financial turmoil, we are optimistic the properties will perform well. We launched Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali in 2007 and Majestic Malacca this year. And, both have done well," Yeoh told Business Times in an interview.

Yeoh said the idea to launch the properties is to grow the sales and assets of its hospitality arm, YTL Hotels & Properties (YTLHP) Sdn Bhd.

He said the three new properties will be parked under YTLHP, which wholly owns five properties in Malaysia, Bali, Phuket and the UK.

YTLHP has also stakes in seven other properties, a bulk of which are located on Malaysian land.

The company manages all the 12 properties, including Pangkor Laut Resort in Perak and The Ritz-Carlton KL, which are majority-owned by the Yeoh family.

Last year, YTLHP made RM150 million in sales.

It expects revenue to be flat this year due to the effects from a global financial meltdown, said Yeoh, who is also YTLHP executive director.

"Earnings were affected but we had a positive effect from what took place in Mumbai, and in Thailand. The pick-up has been strong but next year is a very difficult year to predict. The booking pattern has shifted to last-minute confirmation," he said.

Yeoh said YTLHP's net profit and revenue have been growing steadily by 20 per cent year-on-year and it will aim for growth again next year.

"We are anticipating some downturn in 2009 but if flights and accessibility can increase, there will be a chance for us to grow our fair share. Whatever happens next year, YTLHP will not lower room rates as it will take time to bring the rates back upwards," he said.

Yeoh said the company will do some yield management and cost enhancement to improve profitability. The biggest cost in the last two years, he said, had been energy and fuel.

YTLHP, which employs over 2,000 people, will not be hiring next year.

By Business Times

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