Indian hospitality company Indian Hotels is aiming at opening one hotel per month starting from this April, said Puneet Chhatwal, managing director and CEO of the company.
In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Chhatwal said the company is confident of remaining in 8 percent margins guidance range and added that asset monetisation and focus on increasing profitability will help reduce debt by next financial year.
“We remain with our guidance of 8 percent over the business cycle and the improvement that we have seen this year, I do not see at this point of time any reason why we should not continue to improve with the same speed and at least the same expansion that we have witnessed in the last 12 months,” he said.
In terms of further improvement in margins in FY20, he added, “I would not like to go to 250 basis points (bps) because we never did it this year up till now except in one quarter. That is possible in the weaker quarters but I think if we keep doing 2 percent year-on-year (YoY) basis then we would have achieved 8 percent in four years instead of five. If we did 2.5 then we would have achieved it in 3.5 years. so I think let us leave it at 8 percent over five years and should that trend change over the next six months, we will either change the guidance or increase the amount of expansion that we are targeting.”
Speaking about guidance, Chhatwal said, “The guidance we have given to the market has been 15 hotels per annum and in the first year we have done 20. So that takes our pipeline to 30 properties. So we have 178 in our portfolio out of which 148 are in operation. Yes, I remember having said that we will now open one hotel a month commencing April and normally I have full faith and belief in all the stakeholders in the company especially my colleagues and management that they will make it happen.”