Indian Hotels Company, the owner and manager of Taj Hotels, reported a 29 per cent increase in net loss in the first half of this year at US$19,7 million, though its stand-alone operations yielded a loss of only US$500.000.
Much of the loss at the consolidated level was attributed to the drag on account of the three operational properties of the US, including the luxurious Pierre on New York’s Fifth Avenue, where the company had spent $100 million towards renovation, double its acquisition price, but far from generating returns. Other acquired properties have not come cheap. The company invested a total of $228 million in acquiring Boston’s Ritz-Carlton and Campton Place in San Francisco five years ago. Following the slowdown in travel and hospitality, a recovery has taken longer than usual for the company.
“We are in a global economy, we need to really balance our portfolio today and not be holding to one market. The idea is to have at least 40 per cent of our revenue from outside of India, so we can balance our portfolio in the long term. This will allow us to not have all our eggs in one basket”, added Raymond Bickson, managing director.
Besides exploring the acquisition of Orient-Express, which would provide faster expansion, the company plans to increase its footprint independently as well. For instance, it recently formed alliances in China to manage two-three properties, and is on the lookout for more properties in Asia.
adapted from Business Standard India
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