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Filinvest to expand hotel portfolio, eyes 3 projects

Posted on May 29, 2011 11:14:17 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]

FILINVEST DEVELOPMENT Corp. plans to pursue a larger presence in the hospitality industry by building a chain of budget hotels, an official said late last week.
“We have two [budget hotels] that [are] in the planning process,” Josephine G. Yap, Filinvest Development president and chief executive officer, told reporters at the sidelines of the firm’s annual stockholders’ meeting on Friday.

The two developments will be constructed by Filarchipelago Hospitality, Inc., a joint venture between Filinvest Development and Singapore-based Archipelago International Pte. Ltd., Ms. Yap said.

The firm’s first and only hotel is the Crimson Resort and Spa in Mactan, Cebu, opened in October 2010. The deluxe hotel complex is managed and operated by the joint venture.

The announcement comes after Robinsons Land Corp. said earlier this month it will be expanding its chain of budget hotels dubbed gohotels.ph.

For the next three to five years, Robinsons Land plans to build more of its budget hotels in Tacloban in Leyte, Dumaguete in Negros Oriental, Puerto Princesa in Palawan, and Ilocos Norte, according to earlier reports.

Its flagship branch, a 223-room hotel occupying the fifth and sixth floors of the 17-storey prime office condominium Robinsons Cyberplaza at Pioneer Center, started operations in May 2010.

Filinvest Development, for its part, plans to establish its first budget hotel in Metro Manila.

“[We will be] using Fave [hotel] brand, [which] is popular in Indonesia as budget hotels,” she said, noting that this should put the firm in competition with hotels that charge some $50 a night.

“The type of people we are expecting are mid-level businessmen and families looking for leisure travel,” she added.

“[It would be around] 150-200 rooms per site. The target market for Metro Manila are businessmen on a budget,” Ms. Yap said.

Filinvest Development is also planning to build another hotel in Cebu outside the budget brand in three to five years, she said.

Aside from the joint venture, businesses of the Gotianun-led conglomerate include FDC Utilities, Inc., East West Bank, Filinvest Land, Inc., Festival Supermall, Inc., Cyberzone Properties, Inc., and Filinvest Asia Corp.

Filinvest Development is also into sugar production through Pacific Sugar Holdings Corp., Davao Sugar Central Co., Inc., Cotabato Sugar Central Co., Inc., and High Yield Sugar Farms Corp.

The firm’s consolidated net income surged by 79% to P4.94 billion in the first quarter due to higher earnings from operating units.

Shares in Filinvest Development closed 2.86% or P0.14 higher at P5.04 apiece on Friday. -- KAM
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