Travellers International sets P8-B capex for 2015

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IN line with the master plan development for Resorts World Manila, Andrew Tan­led casino operator Travellers International Hotel Group Inc. is earmarking P8 billion in capital expenditure (capex) this year.

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“We will have a total of P8 billion budget this year,” Kingson Sian, Travellers president and chief executive officer, said during the company’s stockholders meeting on Thursday.

Sian said bulk of the capex will fund the Phase 3 development of the 12­hectare Resorts World Manila, which covers the extension of the existing Maxims hotel by more than 100 rooms, as well as the construction of a new 357­room Hilton Hotel and the 331­room Sheraton Hotel.

This phase of development, which includes commercial retail strips, is expected to be completed by 2017.

The company is now capping off second phase of development in Resorts World Manila in time for an opening in early 2016. This phase covers the recently opened 2,500­seater Marriott Grand Ballroom and an extension, called the Marriott West Wing, to expand by 228 rooms the existing 342-room Marriott Hotel.

Sian said there will be a Phase 4 development which consist of a carpark and a “1,000­room international brand hotel on top of a podium—which is a retail mall—connected to the Terminal 2 of the [Ninoy Aquino International Airport]” by a bridge linking Resorts World Manila to the gateway. Phase 4 is expected to be completed no later than 2020.

The hotel developments will bring Travellers’ hotel capacity to 4,200 rooms over the next four years from 1,226 rooms.

Travellers’ officials said during the shareholders meeting that the expansion is a part of the company’s plan “to capture a significant share of the meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions (MICE) market,” together with the recently opened Marriott Grand Ballroom that can house up to 4,000 patrons in a theater style set­up—the largest in the Philippines.

To finance the whole development of Resorts World Manila, Travellers officials said the company has “enough” funds from revenues, initial public offering, and internally generated cash.

In the first three months of the year, Travellers reported a net income of P1.74 billion from P1.71 billion a year earlier, despite lower revenues. The company cited improved cost efficiencies, while revenues declined to P6.79 billion from P7.21 billion.

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