Minor plans $ 1.3 b spend, overseas buys

Wednesday, 9 January 2013 01:37 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

BANGKOK (Reuters): Thai hotel and fast-food chain operator Minor International Pcl, which runs Burger King, Dairy Queen and The Pizza Company outlets across Asia, plans to spend at least 40 billion baht ($ 1.3 billion) through 2017 on expansion and acquisitions.

Minor, which competes with the likes of Yum Brands Inc and Central Plaza Hotel Pcl, expects to buy at least one food asset in China this year, Corporate Chief Financial Officer Trithip Sivakriskul said on Tuesday, without giving details.

In late December Minor expanded in China, taking a 49 per cent stake in Sichuan-style barbecue fish specialist Beijing Riverside & Courtyard, a move to turn around its loss-making operations there, Trithip told Reuters in an interview.

“Doing business in China is difficult, but it is a big market. We have operated in China for almost 10 years. We want to strengthen our presence there,” she said.

Minor, which wants to double its annual revenue to 60 billion baht by 2017, is also looking for other foreign assets outside China to grow its food and higher-margin hotel businesses.

Minor, which majority-owns hotels run under the Four Seasons, Marriott, St Regis and other brands, as well as other hotel joint ventures and management contracts, expects average growth in revenue and net profit of 15-20 per cent a year over the next five years, Trithip said.

Shares in Minor have almost doubled in Bangkok trading over the past year, compared with a 36 per cent gain in the benchmark index. ($ 1 = 30.44 Thai baht)