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Friday, Dec 17, 2004

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Asian Hotels plans to expand

Our Bureau

Kolkata , Dec. 16

ASIAN Hotels Ltd, which owns and operates the Hyatt Regency property in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, is looking at opportunities to set up hotels in other cities such as Chennai, Bangalore and Pune. Plans in this regard are expected to be firmed up within the next year-and-a-half, after operations at the company's Mumbai and Kolkata property are "stabilised".

This was stated here recently by Mr Sandip Ganguli, Vice-President (Sales & Marketing) of Asian Hotels Ltd. Mr Ganguli was here in connection with the inauguration of the Palladian Lounge of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

Quashing rumours that have been doing the rounds for some time now, Mr Ganguli said there were no plans to sell the Hyatt Regency hotel in Kolkata. The 250-room property, which has entailed an investment of around Rs 180 crore, had recorded occupancy levels of around 80 per cent in the last three months. "We had achieved cash break-even within the first six months of launching operations. At present, we are generating a small surplus after servicing the debt. There are no plans to sell the property", he said.

According to him, with several offices shifting to Salt Lake where Hyatt is located, and the Rajarhat New Town coming up close by, the hotel was strategically located to attract business. This year, the Hyatt in Kolkata is expected to generate a turnover of round Rs 35 crore.

Asked whether Asian Hotels had any plans to enter the budget hotels segment, Mr Ganguli replied in the negative. "We are a luxury hotel group and we intend to remain in that capacity," he said.

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