The Economic Times: April, 2015
Mumbai: The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group will invest around Rs 250 crore over the next two years to expand its portfolio to 16 hotels, said a top company executive. The hotel chain, with 13 operational hotels, will add three hotels in London, Ahmedabad and Mangar (Delhi-NCR) in the next two years.
"Our focus right now is to consolidate and open a few of our pending projects... Once the market situation is good, we will go for an IPO," said Keshav Suri, ED, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, who was in Mumbai for the opening of the group's nightclub brand 'Kitty Su'. Currently, Kitty Su is operational in the group's properties in Delhi and Chandigarh. "The investments will be through a mix of debt and equity," Suri added.
According to Suri, the hotel chain will invest around Rs 50-60 crore to set up a 50-key boutique hotel in Mangar, while its project in Ahmedabad is still in the planning stage and will take two years to open. The hospitality group's first international venture in London, which it had acquired earlier, will open its doors in March next.
Apart from these, the group also owns land parcels in Amritsar and Pune which have been earmarked for its mid-segment brand The Lalit Traveller. Currently, the company has two hotels in Jaipur and Khajuraho under its midscale brand.
When asked about the hotel chain's Dubai venture which had been stuck for the past few years, Suri said, "The Dubai bubble burst was really bad at the time when we were about to start the investment and so the project is on the backburner." He added that the group might look to exit or develop the project in future.
However, Suri said the hotel chain will be open to acquiring assets in London and Paris in future. In a bid to grow its talent pool, the hotel chain will open its hospitality school in Faridabad by the end of this financial year. "We need to have the right skills and talent, which is when we can start taking management contracts," said Suri.
Over the last few years, while the company has seen steady growth of its revenue, its bottom line/profits have seen a decline. Its revenue from operations grew from Rs 373 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 426 crore in 2013-14 and its profits have come down from Rs 19.5 crore to Rs 4 crore in the same period.