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Ascott cracks record unit growth despite Covid-19

CAPITALAND'S The Ascott has built a four-year straight streak of record growth in property units in 2020 as it boosts recurring fee income through management and franchise contracts.

In 2020, Ascott added 14,200 units across 71 properties globally. Despite Covid-19, the additional units exceeded the total number of units added in 2019 of some 14,100 units based on numbers disclosed as at Dec 2019.

These units signed here refer to units signed up based on management contracts, franchises, and strategic alliances, said Ascott.

The new units added in 2020 are expected to boost Ascott's annual fee income by over S$27 million as the properties progressively open and stabilise.

Ascott chief executive Kevin Goh, who is also CapitaLand's chief executive for lodging, said more than 80 properties with about 17,000 units are slated to open in 2021.

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Among these are over 70 properties with more than 15,000 units in the Asia Pacific region, which is expected to lead the global economic recovery, he added. Ascott's business in China continues to lead its global expansion.

Mr Goh said Ascott will continue to build its future recurring fee income stream through the new management and franchise contracts signed.

"We will continue to look for opportunities to expand our presence through management contracts, franchises, strategic alliances, and stand ready to seize good investment opportunities," said Mr Goh.

"While we were not spared the short-term operational impact of Covid-19, we believe that the fundamental demand for lodging remains intact and will bounce back quickly once the global pandemic is brought under control."

Separately, Ascott introduced 25 new properties in 2020 that added more than 3,900 units to Ascott's global inventory. This includes the opening of 10 properties with more than 1,800 units just in China.

For comparison, in 2019 the number of properties opened alone contributed to the addition of 7,500 units.

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