CP LAND Co Ltd, a property arm of Charoen Pokphand Group, plans an investment budget of up to Bt10 billion that will be headlined by the development of residential projects, office buildings and hotels this year, the company’s chief executive officer Sunthorn Arunanondchai said yesterday.
The budget also takes in industrial estate, solar farm, and exhibition centre projects.
Up to Bt1.3 billion will be spent to develop two office buildings in North Park Bangkok and in the Hat Yai district of Songkha province. Some Bt1.2 billion will be put into four new residential projects in the provinces of Prachinburi, Rayong, Buriram and Chon Buri’s Sriracha district, Sunthorn said.
A further Bt600 million has been earmarked for three new hotels in Buriram, Rayong, and Khon Kaen that will provide a combined 400 rooms. In Khon Kaen, the company will spend up to Bt40 million to set up solar roof that will produce 990 kilowatts an hour of power.
The remainder of the budget - Bt6.86 billion – will be used to develop the company’s first industrial estate in Rayong, on a site of 3,068 rai. The project is being developed under a joint venture with China’s Guangxi Construction Group. The Chinese company holds a 48 per cent stake in the joint venture firm, CG Corporation Co Ltd. The outlay is part of total investment of more than Bt8.5 billion for the development of the Rayong industrial estate over the three years to 2020, Sunthorn said.
The company’s investment budget will come from both its initial cash flow and borrowings from commercial banks, he said, adding that with the company now having lower debt, it has more room to take on bank loans.
In line with the investment plan, the company expects its net profit to grow in the double digits from the Bt800 million posted last year, he said.
For the hotel business, CP Land has revised its investment plan from an earlier plan that set out the development of budget hotels at PTT service stations. Originally, the company had planned to build 50 such hotels nationwide within five years.
It has suspended that plan, along with one to develop a hotel in Myanmar. The company needs to study the business risks and would meanwhile give more priority to domestic investments than overseas expansion, Sunthorn said.
However, CP Land is exploring investment opportunities in the UK hotel sector, given the decline in property prices as the country prepares to leave the European Union.
“We are only studying this possibility for now, and we would need to assess the business risks before making an investment decision there,” he said.
This year the company will focus on industrial estates in Rayong province, where benefits are seen from its location in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) area, which also covers the Chon Buri and Chachoengsao provinces.
“We will focus on innovative and green industries under the Board of Investment’s promotions for investment in the EEC area,” Sunthorn said.
Under its plans for business expansion this year, CP Land targets its total assets increasing from Bt23 billion last year to more than Bt25 billion, he said.
“We strong confidence in the outlook for the country’s sustained economic growth and that this will generate strong demand for housing, offices, hotels, industrial estates and exhibition centres,” Sunthorn said.
“As a result, we have continued to expand our investments in the country rather than increase our outlays overseas. This will drive our business growth into the double digits each year.”