Central Group eyes 24% growth
Central Group has set an investment budget of more than Bt38 billion this year as it targets 24-per-cent growth.
Executive chairman Sudhitham Chirathivat disclosed yesterday that the group expected sales of about Bt227 billion this year.
The group's five core businesses planned last year to invest Bt30 billion on various projects. However, Sudhitham said, the actual investment for the year totalled Bt39.6 billion. This was driven up by the acquisition of real estate in Rome, Italy, and a joint venture with Siam Family Mart. The five core businesses had total sales turnover of Bt183.3 billion last year, a 31.3-per-cent increase over 2011. The group saw organic growth of 7.5 per cent, and 23.8 per cent of the growth was from new investment projects.
The group's retail business (Central Retail Corporation) grew by 31 per cent last year, while real-estate development (Central Pattana) grew by about 36 per cent. Trading and marketing business (Central Marketing Group) grew by 30 per cent, and hotels (Centara Hotels & Resorts) by about 23 per cent, while an increase of 27 per cent was posted by the Central Restaurant Group.
In retail, the continuing growth was achieved through opening up new businesses under a strategy to seek allies to merge with. This was typified by the company's joint venture with Siam Family Mart with holdings of 50.29 per cent, the agreement with OfficeMate to combine it with the B2S and Office Depot brands to become No 1 in the business of stationery and office equipment in Thailand, and the lease agreement with Grand Indonesia Group to open a Central Department Store at Grand Indonesia Shopping Town, a mixed-use upscale complex in Jakarta.
The Central Jakarta will have total floor space of 21,000 square metres on four storeys and require a Bt600-million investment. Also, a third branch of Central Department Store was opened in Chengdu, China.
Domestically, there have been several new projects, such as two new shopping centres in Surat Thani and Lampang, five new Robinson branches and 13 new branches of Thai Watsadu. There are also new brands of fashion, shoes and cosmetics, such as Versus, Ralph Lauren, Furla, b+ab, Little Sunshine, Giuseppe Zanotti Design, Azona, Jacki O, Versace Jeans, Next to Normal, Paul Smith Junior and Kenzo Kids.
Centara Hotels has launched a new brand named COSI to accommodate tourists using the rapidly growing low-cost airlines in Asean. Last year companies under Central Group received more than 90 awards and accolades from various institutions both at the national and international levels, the company says.
Central Group expects to grow its business this year by about 24 per cent with targeted sales turnover of Bt227.3 billion, split 91:9 between business at home and overseas, through the strategy of expansion including mergers and acquisitions.