On behalf of the Board of Directors, I am pleased to present this Annual Report of Central Plaza Hotel Plc for fiscal year ending 31st December 2017. The Company again enjoyed a largely successful year with record revenues totalling Baht 20,345 million and record net profit of Baht 1,991 million, as we set the stage for the next five years, during which we expect to leverage our strengths, improve our capabilities, and double revenue.
Thailand began 2017 still under the sombre after-effects of our late King’s passing, but the country remains an immensely popular and resilient tourist and business destination. The year ended with record arrivals into Thailand and thanks to the buoyancy of several markets such as China and India to name but a few, the powerful engine of Asian travel demand should continue to drive growth into the future, despite headwinds from Brexit and a strengthening Baht.
2017 saw year-on-year revenue growth, albeit at a slower rate than anticipated, and the growth was driven purely by room revenue. Our MICE business was softer than expected from the mourning period effects in early 2017, but among the greatest challenges we faced over the course of the year was the additional competition and changing travel patterns from key markets, which put pressure on our business in the Maldives.
Near the end of 2017 we announced an ambitious, five-year strategic plan. It focuses on development and expansion, based on our four core strengths: a culture of Thai hospitality; a variety of formats and destinations to serve growing travel segments; recognised excellence in spa and cuisine; and an affinity for families. This core is what differentiates us from our competitors; it defines our brand.
Over these next five years, we aim to do much more than merely open more properties. We will innovate with new formats, upgrade our infrastructure to improve customer convenience and business efficiency, and become a more widely-known brand altogether.
Announcements we made in 2017 evidence our earnestness in pursuing this plan. We opened a new hotel in Oman and rubber-stamped our joint venture deal with UAE-based property developer Nakheel for a 600-room family theme resort on Dubai’s Deira Island. We signed a long-term lease that puts us in the owner role for the Centra by Centara Government Complex Hotel & Convention Centre in Chaeng Watthana and we launched COSI, our exciting new affordable lifestyle hotel brand. We also made significant investments in technology upgrades and added experienced senior executives to our management team.
In our restaurant business, Central Restaurants Group Co., Ltd (CRG) has demonstrated continuous growth and strength in its position as one of the restaurant business leaders in Thailand. New models have been devised focusing on more accessibility to consumers such as KFC Drive Thru 24 hours, Coffee Corner at Mister Donut and Auntie Anne’s Food Truck. At the end of 2017, CRG had added 99 new stores including Food Trucks and Kitchen Hubs, presently has 889 branches in total registering growth of approximately 7 percent over 2016.
In order to sustain its long-term growth, CRG continued to expand new brands in both Bangkok and other provinces. We also focus the emphasis to achieve our goals in a responsible and sustainable manner to support the long term ambition of our business and stakeholders.
None of these accomplishments would have been possible without the support of our shareholders, business partners, suppliers, and all the employees of the Company. Our exciting future will not be possible without your continuing support.
Mr. Suthikiati Chirathivat
Chairman of the Board