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NEWS| Indian Hotels net profit up 31%


The country’s largest hospitality chain, the Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), posted 31 per cent rise in net profit at Rs 134.58 crore for the quarter ended December 31, 2007 compared with Rs 102.56 crore for the same quarter last year.
The total income of IHCL has gone up by ...



15 per cent in the quarter ended December 31, 2007 to Rs 527.11 crore compared with Rs 458.23 crore in the same corresponding period.
The growth in profits, according to Raymond Bickson, managing director, IHCL, is driven by a healthy improvement in average room rates and occupancy across the portfolio, backed by a steady growth in its food and beverage business across all key markets.
An aggressive expansion agenda followed in the quarter has allowed the company to sign international management contracts for operating hotels in Saraya Islands in the UAE and also a luxury hotel in the Bhutanese capital of Thimpu — The Taj Tashi.
The Taj Group is also set to launch five 5-star hotels in Bangalore, Chennai, and Trivandrum and add an additional 150 rooms to the Taj Lands End in Mumbai.
The company will also go ahead with its announced rights issue to raise $600 million. “We have received Sebi approvals and are finalising various formalities and getting clearances. We are looking at a date in mid-March for the issue and will close it by the middle of April,” said Anil P Goel, chief financial officer.
The IHCL, however, maintained that there will be status quo on the aggregate investment of $246.9 million that allows Samsara Properties (100 per cent subsidiary) a holding of 11.57 per cent of the Common Stock A of the Orient-Express Hotels.
Shares of the company closed at Rs 140.20, up 3.09 per cent on the BSE.

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UPDATE| Punjab, Chandigarh set to witness hotel boom

Highlights>
> Choice Hotels that has announced plans to manage five hotels in Punjab
> Berggruen Hotels is also foraying into Punjab with its budget brand Keys
> Sarovar Hotel Group is also planning to develop three new hotels
> Hampshire Hotels & Resorts is also planning to build premium hotels in Ludhiana and Chandigarh

Read the full story....


The recently signed MoU for the much talked about international airport in Chandigarh has given a boost to the region's hotel industry.

Recognising the potential is Choice Hotels that has announced plans to manage five hotels in Punjab. While three of them will be in Ludhiana, the other two will be in Bathinda and Amritsar. Vilas Pawar, CEO of Choice Hotels India, informs, "We are introducing an all-suite format under the Clarion brand for the property in Ludhiana, for which we have tied up with Vancouver-based Agaya Paul Singh."

Berggruen Hotels is also foraying into Punjab with its budget brand Keys. Sanjay Sethi, its MD and CEO, says, "We are building a Keys hotel in Ludhiana for which the land has already been acquired." Further, Marriott too has plans to tap the immense potential of these regions. Anant N Joshi, regional director, Marriott Hotels International, reveals, "We have signed a management contract for the upcoming Courtyard properties in Amritsar and Chandigarh."

Sarovar Hotel Group is also planning to develop three new hotels in Punjab and Chandigarh. Says Anil Madhok, MD of Sarovar Hotels & Resorts, "We are developing two hotels in Chandigarh under the Park Plaza and Hometel brands.” According to him, the group is also eyeing a joint venture with the Punjab government to build three new Hometels.

International hotel chain Hampshire Hotels & Resorts is also planning to build premium hotels in Ludhiana and Chandigarh. The group is also looking to foray into the heritage segment by converting the Gobindgarh fort into a premium hotel. Raddison is also building a property in Chandigarh. Hyatt Hotels & Resorts is setting up a premium hotel in Chandigarh while DLF is building five-star hotels in the same city. It has already set aside four acres of land in the IT Park in Chandigarh.

IHHR Hospitality had earlier announced that it would be building a business hotel under its brand Ista in Amritsar. Cabana Hotel Management, the Indian master licensee for Best Western, is also planning to build a hotel in Chandigarh. According to sources, Oberoi Hotels & Resorts has also shown interest in setting up a hotel in Chandigarh.