Singapore-based CapitaLand’s wholly-owned serviced residence business unit, The Ascott Limited (Ascott), has exceeded its target of 20,000 units for China in 2017, ahead of its planned schedule of 2020, as it sealed contracts to manage nine properties with over 2,000 units.
The achievement also heralded a new CEO, Kevin Goh, formerly Ascott’s COO, who succeeded Lee Chee Koon earlier this month. Lee is now CapitaLand’s group chief investment officer.
Of the nine new properties, Somerset Gubei Shanghai will be the first to open this year, while Ascott Raffles City Chongqing and Tujia Somerset City Hub Zhuhai Serviced Residence are scheduled to open in 2019.
Ascott Jing’an Shanghai and Citadines Baoyu Riverview Harbin are targeted to open in 2020, while Ascott Zumiao Foshan, Ascott Gaoxin Wuxi and Gaoxin Serviced Residence Wuxi are slated to start operations in 2021. Lastly, Ascott Hengqin Zhuhai is due to open in 2023.
With these properties, Ascott has entered new cities such as Harbin and Zhuhai, and widened its presence in Chongqing, Foshan, Shanghai and Wuxi.
Overall, Ascott added over 5,600 units across 28 properties in 2017, double the over 2,700 units across 15 properties added in 2016.
Kevin Goh, newly appointed Ascott’s CEO, said: “2017 was our strongest year as Ascott’s global portfolio crossed 72,000 units, adding a record high of about 24,000 units within the year. We are confident of achieving our global target of 80,000 units in 2018, well ahead of 2020 as we press ahead with our aggressive expansion plans via strategic alliances, management contracts, franchises and investments.”
“As we scaled up, we also opened 18 properties with close to 3,800 units last year in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, the US, and this includes our first properties in Cambodia and Turkey,” added Goh.
Tan Tze Shang, Ascott’s managing director for China, further shared that Ascott’s first lyf property will open in Shenzhen this year, and the company has also introduced technological initiatives – such as service robots, and the use of WeChat or smartphone apps – across all properties to boost operational efficiency and enhance customer experience.