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Home > Business > Stock Market News > Hot Pursuits

Indian Hotels up

June 20, 2003 15:25 IST

Indian Hotels rose today, amid volatility, as the company turned out eye-pleasing results.

The scrip of the hotels chain was currently trading at Rs 241, up 1.97%, by 14:15 IST. The scrip traded between a low of Rs 222.30 and a high of Rs 245 so far today. Volumes of over 1.60 lakh Indian Hotels shares were registered as volumes on BSE so far.

In the 15 sessions between 29 May and 19 June 2003, the stock of the hotel major climbed 29% to Rs 236.35 from Rs 183.

After market hours Thursday, Indian Hotels said Q4 ended 31 March 2003 net profit soared 172.8% to Rs 25.64 crore compared to Rs 9.40 crore in the corresponding period of the previous year. Total income jumped 18% to Rs 175.97 crore from Rs 149.17 crore in MQ 2002.

For the year ended 31 March 2003, the company's net profit declined by 50% to Rs 40.48 crore (Rs 80.70 crore) on a 2% drop in total income to Rs 590.64 crore (Rs 601.88 crore). On a consolidated basis, for the year ended 31 March 2003, the Indian Hotels group's gross profit works out to Rs 193.89 crore on total income of Rs 904.56 crore.

The FY 2002-03 results are not comparable with FY 2001-02 as the company transferred its Taj Air Catering business division (TAC) to a joint venture company with Singapore Airport Terminal Services with effect from 30 September 2001.

The board has proposed a dividend of 70% for FY 2002-03.

The main reason for the stock's coming good today, however, is the positive outlook for the company in the current year. Analysts believe that occupancy as well as average room rates are expected to go up in the current year. Players say that the outbreak of Sars in East Asia, in addition, has set off an increasing stream of tourists to India, which otherwise would have gone to Sars-hit countries like Hong Kong, China, Taiwan and Singapore. The World Health Organisation (WHO) had earlier declared India Sars-free.

As it is, occupancy rates in India are on the rise after a setback last year from the fallout of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attack and the ensuing economic recession. Revenues for the industry plummeted as hotel bookings were canceled for fear of terrorist attacks in third world countries.

Indian Hotels, meanwhile, plans to increase the value of the Taj brand in premium hotel properties such as palaces, super deluxe and luxury hotels. For this, the group will adopt the renovation, upgradation and acquisition route to sustain its leadership. It also plans to introduce a chain of budget hotels and four star hotels in smaller cities, where the potential for growth is immense. The budget hotel brand will be distinct from the Taj brand and the company plans to have a chain of new properties under this brand. It will foray into a new segment of service apartments, the first one being the Wellington Mews in Mumbai, which is scheduled to open in a year's time.

The group has acquired one of ITDC's properties under construction at Chandigarh for Rs 19 crore through its associate company TajGVK Hotels & Resorts. In September 2002, the company, along with ICICI Trustee Services (I-Ventures), acquired Lokhandwala Hotel's (LHL), Regent Hotel at Bandra in Mumbai for a total consideration of Rs 452 crore including transaction costs. This marks the company's much-awaited entry into the fast-growing North Mumbai market.

Apart from Taj Land's End (Regent Hotel), the company added three more hotels to its portfolio in 2002-03 - Usha Kiran Palace hotel at Gwalior, Hotel Rawal-Kot Jaisalmer and Taj Residence, Vadodara. The company sold two hotels - Taj Residency in Lucknow and the Taj Blue Diamond in Pune to Piem Hotels.

The Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), better known as the Taj group of Hotels, set up in the early twentieth century, has since emerged as one of the leading players in the domestic hospitality sector in India and overseas. The Taj Group's operations cover over 60 hotels in India and overseas, and encompass a number of brands across various price segments.

At present, promoters hold 37.38 stake in the company, while the public, institutions and foreign bodies hold 28.09%, 23.81% and 8.38%, respectively.

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