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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Berjaya postpones opening of The Chateau to end-2009

BERJAYA Hills Bhd, a subsidiary of Berjaya Corp Bhd (3395) , is to postpone for a second time the opening of its five-star resort, focusing on spa and wellness, in Berjaya Hills, Pahang, on concerns that the leisure market may continue to weaken in parallel with other regional markets.

The Chateau Spa and Wellness Resort, which has 210 rooms featuring a luxurious neo-classical interior design concept, was originally scheduled to open in November 2008, but was postponed to April this year.

Built after the medieval Haut Koenigsburg Castle in Alsace, France, for RM100 million last year, the resort will now open by end-2009, Colmar Tropicale general manager Bjorn-Henning Buth said.

The Chateau is located about 1,000m above sea level in the French- and Japanese-influenced Berjaya Hills (formerly known as Bukit Tinggi Resort), which spans 6,320ha of tropical greenery.
"We are targeting the international wellness market. (However) the market has softened due to the economic turmoil and we are hoping for an improvement in the second half. We expect significant contribution from The Chateau after its first year of operation," Buth told Business Times in an interview.

Berjaya Hills is expecting RM45 million to RM55 million in revenue this year from Colmar Tropicale, which is a French-themed resort offering 248 rooms, the Berjaya Hills Golf and Country Club and the Japanese Village.

For fiscal year ended April 30 2008, the company posted RM40 million in revenue, with around 25 to 30 per cent profit margin.

The company is drawing up more attractions at Berjaya Hills. It will open a street mall this quarter, encompassing souvenir, artifact and clothing shops, and art galleries, among others.

Berjaya is also promoting its 800-people capacity convention centre at the hills, to grow its meeting, incentive, convention and exhibition business.

Buth said the aim is to increase room occupancy at Colmar Tropicale from 54 per cent currently, and sell rooms at The Chateau when it opens.

By Business Times (by Sharen Kaur)

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