Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) plans to reach a portfolio of 300 hotels by 2025, it said on Tuesday when reporting its earnings.
“We are looking to open 18 hotels a year,” said CEO and managing director Puneet Chhatwal. He cited plans to grow through conversions and new construction across India and in West Asia and Europe. The company plans to invest about $60 million a year for the next few years specifically for hotel development.
India’s largest hotel operator — with brands such as Taj and Ginger — had its highest-ever net profit in the quarter that ended on December 31. The Tata Group-backed company reported consolidated net profit of $46.8 million (3.83 billion rupees) on revenue of about $206 million (16.86 billion rupees).
“We are very pleased to report our Q3 [third quarter] results with a record level on all key parameters, revenue, EBITDA, EBITDA margin, PAT, strong free cash flows and being net cash positive,” Chhatwal said.
The strong performance followed hard on a previous quarter that was also a company record thanks to a surge in post-pandemic travel. Hotel occupancy was up 27 percent on average from pre-crisis levels, while average room rates were up by 27 percent compared with 2019 levels.
“With the month of January gone by almost tonight, we see the momentum continuing,” Chhatwal said. “We have a fair idea and depth of the business on the books and the pick up the way it is coming. The outlook is very strong.”
For more context on CEO Puneet Chhatwal, read Taj Hotels CEO on the Sweeping Strategy Behind Delivering Best-Ever Financials.