Billionaire Kwek Leng Beng’s CDL sees hotel bookings and revenue surge as pandemic restrictions ease

City Developments Ltd. (CDL) – controlled by billionaire Kwek Leng Beng – said its hotel bookings and revenue jumped in the first quarter as the easing of Covid-19 restrictions around the world unleashed pent-up travel demand.

With the gradual lifting of pandemic travel restrictions and the increasing deployment of vaccines around the world, CDL hotel occupancy levels increased from 36.8% a year ago to 52% in the three months ended 31 March, and revenue per available room doubled, the company said in a regulatory filing late Tuesday. While bookings at the group’s hotels, including the Millennium Downtown New York and the St. Regis in Singapore, improved in most parts of Asia, Europe and the United States, the recovery in North has been weighed down by a resurgence in Covid-19 infections.

“The group is optimistic about the outlook for its core business segments for the remainder of 2022, with more residential launches planned in Singapore and overseas while ensuring its retail and hospitality portfolio continues to grow through to strong global demand,” CDL said. .

Despite a 41% drop in Singapore home sales in the first quarter to 188 units, valued at S$477.9 million ($348 million), the real estate giant plans to accelerate project launches residential development for the rest of the year as it believes the impact of property cooling measures introduced in December is temporary.

“While transaction volume is temporarily impacted, the group expects the real estate market to remain resilient and house prices to remain firm due to subdued supply and strong fundamentals,” CDL said. “Market activities are expected to improve as new launches go live.”

Earlier this month, CDL and its partner Hongkong Land unit MCL Land sold 77% of the 407 Piccadilly Grand units on Northumberland Road, about four kilometers east of the central business district. In the second half of the year, the developer plans to launch a 639-unit condominium at Tengah Garden Walk in the western part of Singapore. The company will also begin marketing the 256 prime residential units at the former Fuji Xerox Towers site in Tanjong Pagar, bordering Raffles Place CBD, he said.

City Developments has stepped up its residential developments to tap Singapore’s growing housing demand. Robust house sales, along with the recovery of the group’s hotel business, helped City Developments return to the black last year with a net profit of S$97.7m, down from a record loss of S$1.9bn. Singapore dollars in 2020 when the company canceled its investment. in the financially troubled Chinese subsidiary Sincere Property Group.

Kwek Leng Beng is the chairman of CDL and the Hong Leong Group of Singapore, founded by his father in 1941. His cousin Quek Leng Chan, also a billionaire, runs a separate group in Malaysia, also called Hong Leong. With a net worth of $8.5 billion which he shares with his family, Kwek, 81, was ranked No. 8 on Singapore’s 50 richest list released in August.

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