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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Sunway Lagoon optimistic about next year

SUNWAY Lagoon Sdn Bhd, the operator of Asia’s premier multi-park destination Sunway Lagoon is expecting a slightly lower net profit this year as a result of the current global economic crisis.

Aaron Soo ... ‘Fortunately for Sunway Lagoon, the product’s brand name is strong.’

Chief executive officer Aaron Soo says the company is more optimistic about next year profit’s projection as the economy is slowly showing signs of recovery.

“We are targeting about RM13mil net profit this year compared to the RM28mil net profit we chalked up last year as visitors and companies took a big hit because of this crisis.

“Companies are cutting their budget or postponing their functions here at the park,” he tells StarBizWeek during an interview just recently.

Soo says Sunway Lagoon is coming out with some exciting plans to launch a new attraction at the park, starting with the opening of Nite Park early this month.

“Since I started working here in December 2005, Sunway Lagoon has introduced several new attractions, from Extreme Park in 2006, Wildlife Park in 2007, Scream Park in 2008 and the latest will be the Nite Park. We plan to open up another new park next year but this will depend on the situation in the next three months,” he says.

He adds that the company’s key strategy now is to focus into two areas, the park operation and event management, to increase the revenue and profit.

“When I started to work here, we had about 400 staffs. Now, our staff strength is about 220 as a result of disposing some unrelated business. This being our food and beverage business and retail stores.

“We are now outsourcing these businesses to other players as we want to be more focus and have more time for other fundamentals such as operations safety, customer service, sales and marketing,” he says.

On the amount of money being put to open up the new park (Nite Park), Soo says the company is investing about RM4mil.

“We have invested RM4mil for Extreme Park, RM6mil for Wildlife Park and RM3mil for Scream Park to keep Sunway Lagoon fresh and appealing,” he says.

He says the company is also focusing on new market segment like international concerts and events, weddings, team building and corporate functions.

“We plan to have more collaboration with professional live show performers, fire divers a la Indiana Jones style and international jet skiing champions,” he says.

Soo also says competition is rising from other new and existing parks but Sunway Lagoon will rise above the competition based on the team’s 17 years of experience in the industry.

“Fortunately for Sunway Lagoon, the product brand’s name is strong. However, we will still face some challenges,” he says.

Soo says Sunway Lagoon is going to tap the Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern markets.

“The current visitor ratio is 60% domestic and 40% international. We will tap the international markets as we believe there are opportunities for us to increase the international visitors to the park,” he says.

Spreading over 88 acres in Bandar Sunway, Sunway Lagoon is a multi-award winning theme park. It won the Best Tourist Attraction 2007 by Tourism Malaysia and Asia’s Best Attraction Award by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attraction.

By The Star (by Edy Sarif)

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