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Education-oriented theme park expected to earn after 2017

Posted on August 19, 2013 10:18:17 PM [ BusinessWorld Online ]
KIDZANIA Manila, the P1-billion education-oriented theme park of ABS-CBN Corp., should hit break-even point within three years from start of operations, a senior company official said in a recent briefing.
ABS-CBN’s Chief Finance Officer Aldrin M. Cerrado said Play Innovations, Inc. -- the unit the network formed to hold the local franchise of this Mexico-based venture -- should start earning profit after the third year from its scheduled opening in November 2014.
“We will hit break-even before the end of year three,” Mr. Cerrado said during his presentation of ABS-CBN’s second-quarter and first-half financial results to analysts and media at the broadcaster’s headquarters in Quezon City.
Groundbreaking for KidZania on a 6,000-square-kilometer property at 11th corner 32nd streets in Bonifacio Global City was held last March.
KidZania’s facilities are designed as child-sized replicas of the real world where kids can take on adult roles and earn money -- via branded activities -- that can be used to purchase KidZania goods and services.
Brands will include McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Dunkin’ Donuts and Coca-Cola, among others.
In Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, for instance, KidZania facilities enable children to take on roles such as policemen, firemen, paramedics, doctors, nurses, besides businessmen and private sector workers.
Play Innovations is a joint venture of ABS-CBN, which has a 73% stake, and Singapore-based Kids Edutainment Ltd. BVI, which has a 24% share in investments.
Asked how much tickets would cost, Mr. Cerrado said the company is still “reviewing ticket prices.”
Pressed on the venture’s profitability, Maricel Pangilinan-Arenas, president and chief executive officer of Play Innovations, said in the same briefing that existing KidZania ventures worldwide have been generally profitable. KidZania’s Web site shows that besides two sites in Japan, facilities now operate in Bangkok, Thailand; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur Malaysia; Lisbon, Portugal; Monterrey and Mexico cities, Mexico; Santiago, Chile; and Seoul, South Korea.
This year, facilities were to open in Cairo, Egypt; Istanbul, Turkey; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Mumbai, India; and Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Next year -- besides Metro Manila -- facilities are slated to open in Moscow, Russia and Singapore, while 2015 will see operations start in Doha, Qatar; London, United Kingdom; and the United States. -- LCSM     
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