SUNBIZ

FHL Partners with International Hotel Chains to Develop Two New Hotels

Looks like we will be seeing more international branded hotels in Suva and Lautoka soon. This is through Fijian Holdings Limited in partnership with two major international hotel chains. FHL
17 Nov 2018 10:00
FHL Partners with International Hotel Chains to Develop Two New Hotels

Looks like we will be seeing more international branded hotels in Suva and Lautoka soon.

This is through Fijian Holdings Limited in partnership with two major international hotel chains.

FHL Group chief executive officer Nouzab Fareed confirmed the cost for each of the hotel projecst is $30 million.

One of the hotels will be located in Suva while the other in Lautoka.

Each of the hotels will have 180 rooms.

Mr Fareed said the hotels would be managed by an international hotel chain management team.

“It will create about 100 jobs for each of the hotels.

“The project is estimated to be completed by early 2020.”

Mr Fareed spoke ahead of the FHL annual general meeting, being held on Tuesday, November 27, 2018. In other updaes:

Merger Next Year

Pacific Cement Ltd will be merging with Basic Industries Limited but subject to regulatory approval.

“Pacific Cement is a small company, manufacturing cement,” Mr Fareed said.

“It’s already a publicly listed company.

“Pacific Cement is not making enough money for it to sustain itself.

“We can’t do much. We are selling Pacific Cement to Basic Industries as it’s part of their business so it’s better be part of their portfolio.”

Mr Fareed said after the companies merge next year, then they would take Basic Industries public.

“There will be no change in management. It will continue as is.

“We have to find some innovative solution which we are trying to work on.

“The merger will be subject to regulatory approval.”

Government Printing

Mr Fareed said FHL was the successful bidder for the Government Printing and Stationery Department (GPSD).

They had paid a deposit during the year.

The FHL’s joint venture partner, for the Government Printing takeover is Aitken Spence Group from Sri Lanka is a large listed conglomerate on the Colombo Stock Exchange with interest in shipping, leisure, insurance, property and printing.

“We are planning to convert GPSD into a modern printing company

 

with state-of-the-art technology.

“Agriculture and renewal energy continue to be on our bucket list, of which we have explored many.

“To be successful we need to satisfied with the growth potential of the project as well as financial returns. This may include solar farms, commercial solar installation and minihydro projects.”

South Seas Cruises

South Seas Cruises accounted for the biggest stake with investments on four new vessels out of which two are large catamaran.

This is followed by Basic Industries Limited which invested on land equipment.

In the coming months Basic Industries will grow its Basic Home business to cater for residential and commercial customers including the Government.

In addition, BIL will be launching its new business arm, Basic Construction aiming to capture the growing activities in the construction sector.

Challenges

Mr Fareed highlighted that the business environment will never be without challenges.

“Due to its complexity and diversity, FHL faces multifaceted challenges.

“The weight limits imposed by Fiji imposed by Fiji Roads Authority on roads and bridges coupled with congestion in Suva port has created a major hurdle to operations of Pacific Cement Ltd ads well as Basic Industries Ltd.

Mr Fareed said: “We are in continuous discussions with relevant stakeholders to solve the issues through alternative means but have achieved limited success.

“Overall our regulated Group companies are faced with high cost of compliance.

“As an obedient law abiding corporate citizen, we follow the rules and live up to the expectations of our shareholders.

“Our history of varied experiences makes us not only bold but enables us to survive under extreme and relentless pressures.

“We continue to strategise and make alternative options to meet situations as they rise.

“We do not believe in resting on our laurels but focus on and make things happen under all circumstances. We are proud of our team for whom facing challenges is a way

of life.

Change in Business environment

Meanwhile FHL Group has been resilient to the changing business environment over the years, delivering quality products and service to its customers and maximising returns to its shareholders.

Group chairman Adrian Sofield highlighted in the company’s 2018 annual report that the Group believes in profit with a purpose, engaging all our stakeholders in ensuring they work as a family to achieve the required returns.

Mr Sofield said: “Having a diversified portfolio of investments has delivered its positive effects to the group, cushioning the slightly lower performance of Pacific Cement Limited.

“This is mainly caused by unfortunate plant breakdowns and increasing price of raw materials in the international market.

“Our other subsidiary companies took advantage of the growing economy and the overall growth resulting from Government’s fiscal policies to create new business opportunities and expand our business operations.

“Total revenue for the Group was up by 2.3 per cent compared with last year, finishing at $311 million.

“Net profit after tax also increased as a result of increased sales, finishing the year at $35 million compared to $31 m in 2017.

“There was two per cent growth in profit after tax for the holding company while the Group profits grew by 15 per cent.”

FHL invested $16.48 million on property, plant and equipment.

Feedback: maraia.vula@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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