Sat, Feb 02, 2013 - Page 13 News List

FIHC plans four new hotels and staffing growth

UPTURN IN DEMAND:Citing a growing tourism sector and demand during the Lunar New Year, the firm was upbeat on its local and international prospects

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Formosa International Hotels Corp (FIHC, 晶華國際酒店集團) plans to add four new hotels to its Just Sleep (捷絲旅) brand, the operator’s business hotel chain, this year, to take advantage of growth in Taiwan’s tourism sector, a company official said yesterday.

The hotel operator, which owns the “Regent” luxury hotel brand, will recruit nearly 400 new employees this year as part of its expansion plans, the official added.

“The accelerating pace of expansion has left the company with a staffing issue,” FIHC chief executive officer Amy Hsueh (薛雅萍) told a media briefing.

The number of tourists visiting Taiwan is expected to surpass 10 million by 2016, which will drive up demand for hotels, Hsueh said, citing a forecast made by the government.

Therefore, FIHC is set to accelerate its expansion plans by launching five hotels globally this year, including four Just Sleep hotels and a Regent Hotel on the Indonesian island of Bali.

The four Just Sleep hotels are set to open in Taipei City, Greater Kaohsiung, Hualien and Yilan, the company said in a statement.

Hsueh said the company will consider opening more Just Sleep hotels in popular tourist spots around the nation in the future, as the hotel’s pricing strategy meets demand from many independent foreign tourists and domestic visitors.

As well as creating around 400 new jobs this year, FIHC is planning to launch a new elite program, aiming to recruit 10 management associates this year. Hsueh said the company will invest over NT$200 million (US$6.74 million) in training the 10 chosen management associates over an 18-month period.

The company expects sales for this month to rise on strong seasonal demand during the Lunar New Year holiday, as its hotels are located in popular spots, such as Silks Place Taroko (太魯閣晶英酒店), which has been fully booked for the holiday.

Meanwhile, revenue from the company’s restaurants may also increase during the holiday, the company added.

FIHC posted NT$3.71 billion in sales last year, up 2.38 percent from a year earlier, the company said in its stock exchange filing.

Net income totaled NT$802.05 million, or NT$8.47 per share, in the first three quarters of last year, up from NT$729.16 million, or NT$7.77 per share, recorded from the same period in 2011, company statistics showed.

The company’s shares rose 0.97 percent to close at NT$364.5 on the local bourse yesterday, compared with the benchmark TAIEX’s 0.08 percent rise, Taiwan Stock Exchange data showed.

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