Somkid urges BOI to revise

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


DEPUTY Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak wants the Board of Investment to attract more foreign money, especially from Japan, China, India, South Korea and Singapore, by revising its incentives.

Somkid met yesterday with high-level BOI executives and heads of its 14 overseas offices yesterday.

He said the BOI had to submit its requirements within one month for the additional manpower needed to achieve its objectives.

Meanwhile, Somkid said the Eastern Economic Corridor would play a vital role in drawing investment into Thailand. Hence it is necessary to study the actual needs of foreign investors so they can be better accommodated, he said.

BOI secretary-general Hirunya Suchinai said the agency planned 17 roadshow events from this month to December to attract more foreign investment.

BOI executives will accompany the prime minister or one of his deputies who will lead Thai delegations to meet leading foreign companies in target industries. The BOI hopes to attract about 70 leading foreign companies.

In addition, the BOI’s 14 overseas investment offices plan 31 events to attract foreign investors between this month and December where they will meet and negotiate with at least 93 targeted companies.

Singha Estate finalising hotel acquisition deal in UK

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SINGHA ESTATE is eyeing more hotel acquisitions in Europe, especially Britain, as well as planning to open hotels in major tourist destinations in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

Chief executive officer Naris Cheyklin said the company expected to close hotel-acquisition deals in Britain this quarter.

Singha Estate and its Thai partner, Fico Group, are working on a final study for further expansion. If they are able to finalise these deals, they will secure more than 200 rooms in Britain.

He said hotels in Britain right now could be acquired for as much as 10 per cent below market rate because of the weakening of the pound sterling after UK citizens voted in June to leave the European Union.

A hotel-industry source who did not want to be named said Singha Estate might spend up to Bt700 million to acquire three hotels, one in Scotland and two in UK England, with 70 rooms in each property.

Last year, S Hotels and Resorts (UK), a wholly owned subsidiary of Singha Estate and Fico Holding (UK), a part of Fico Group, signed a 50:50 joint-venture agreement to form FS JV Co in the United Kingdom to acquire Jupiter Hotels for about 155 million pounds (Bt8.5 billion) from Patron Capital and its partner, the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Jupiter manages 26 UK hotels operating under the Mercure brand, with a total of 2,883 rooms. Most of the properties are owned freehold. It also manages a further six hotels for other owners in Britain.

Naris said Singha estate was also looking for hotels in other countries such as Maldives, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia and Myanmar (Bagan, Inle Lake and Mandalay). In the domestic market, it hopes to open more hotels in key tourist destinations such as Phuket, Pattaya, Hua Hin, KohSamui, Krabi and Khao Lak.

There are two Thai hotels in Singha Estate’s portfolio: Santiburi Beach Resort and Spa on KohSamui and Phi Phi Island Village Resort in Krabi province.

Expansion into Maldives would serve high-end holidaymakers, while hotels in Southeast Asia would serve the growth of mass markets.

For Maldives, Singha is considering various options, including joint ventures. Major Thai hotel chains Dusit International, Centara and Minor International have already entered the famous resort islands.

“For overall future expansion, we will focus on acquisition of existing hotels over the next three years and after 2019 we will invest by ourselves,” Naris said.

He added that by 2020, Singha Estate should increase the number of hotels in its portfolio from 28 (26 in Britain and two in Thailand) to 40, with total room numbers increasing from about 3,000 to 5,000.

In that year, revenue from the hotel unit should increase from Bt2 billion this year to Bt8 billion. Of that amount, Bt5 billion will come from the domestic market and Bt3 billion from overseas. However, revenue from the hotel unit will remain at 40 per cent of Singha Estate’s total income, which is targeted at about Bt20 billion in four years.

To prepare for long-term growth, Singha Estate recently established a sister company called SHR Co, apparently an abbreviation of “Singha Hotels and Resorts”. SHR is a holding company and that plans to list on the Stock Exchange of Thailand in a few years.

Under SHR’s direction, the company will initiate several hotel brands ranging from luxury to mid-scale. The luxury brand is Santiburi Beach Resort and Spa in Koh Samui, and all others, both existing and new properties, will be positioned as four-star hotels.

Over the last few years, Singha Estate spent more than Bt9.1 billion on its hotel business. Of that investment, Bt8.5 billion was for hotel acquisitions in Britain, Bt300 million to Bt400 million for renovation and expansion of Santiburi in Koh Samui, and Bt200 million for acquisition and renovation of Phi Phi Island Village Resort in Krabi province.

Central sharpens focus on Vietnam

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Jariya Chirathivat, right, representative of Central Group and Central Group Vietnam, and Sanan Angubolkul, left, president of The Thailand-Vietnam Business Council, and chairman and president of Srithai Superware, pose at forum, entitled ‘Fostering Econo

Jariya Chirathivat, right, representative of Central Group and Central Group Vietnam, and Sanan Angubolkul, left, president of The Thailand-Vietnam Business Council, and chairman and president of Srithai Superware, pose at forum, entitled ‘Fostering Econo

CENTRAL Group will focus on launching all of its strategic businesses in Vietnam, its second-largest market.

“There are many businesses, especially hotels and shopping malls, that have not been yet been developed in Vietnam by Central Group. We will also continue the expansion of our existing businesses in the country,” Jariya Chirathivat, a representative of Central Group and Central Group Vietnam, said yesterday.

Central Group employs 11,500 people in Vietnam. Most are Vietnamese. They work at the group’s stores, logistics centres and head office.

Central Group Vietnam was established in 2011 with the debut of a 450-square-metre Supersport store, along with Crocs and New Balance stores, in the Vincom Centre Ba Trieu, the most luxurious shopping centre in Hanoi.

The company now runs 26 stores in Vietnam – 11 Supersport, nine Crocs, five New Balance and one Speedo store.

However, it will triple its presence in Vietnam with the acquisition, along with Nguyen Kim, of Big C Vietnam’s 43 branches comprising 33 hypermarkets and 10 convenience stores in a 920-million-euro (Bt35.7 billion) deal.

The “C” of Big C stands for “Central”, because this brand was created by Central Group.

“We will continue the expansion of our major retail chains in Vietnam. We plan to open four to five stores every year from each of our major retail chains, comprising Big C, Nguyen Kim and Lan Chi Mart,” Jariya said.

“Our future investment in Vietnam will be through joint ventures with local partners in the country so that we can transfer our know-how and experience and grow the business together.”

Sanan Angubolkul, president of the Thailand-Vietnam Business Council and chairman and president of Srithai Superware, said the outstanding characteristics of Vietnam, compared with other neighbouring countries, was the government’s stability and its policy to promote foreign investment.

The Communist government has also revised laws and regulations to make foreign investment more convenient and effective.

“The Vietnamese government decided to participate in various bilateral and mutual trade deals, especially free-trade agreements and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which will benefit the country’s exports to the US and Europe,” he said.

“Trade between Thailand and Vietnam is expected to increase dramatically from US$14 billion last year to about $20 billion in 2020. Thailand is now ranked as the seventh-largest foreign investor in Vietnam, up from 11th last year,” he said.

Stanley Kang, chairman of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand, said Vietnam offered huge investment opportunities for Thai investors, thanks to the Vietnamese government’s decision to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which can enhance shared trade benefits by eliminating barriers in the expansion of exports into countries.

“We will propose to the Thai government the introduction of the Thailand Plus team in Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia to help support and facilitate Thai investors who have expanded their business into these markets,” he said.

The Thailand Plus team will be officially set up in Thailand next month with representatives from the government, including the Commerce and Foreign ministries and Board of Investment, as well as the private sector, such as business councils and associations.

The team will conduct insight studies about trade and investment regulations to be advised to the Thai government to enhance government-to-government discussions in order to remove those trade and investment limitations.

WHA sets Bt43 bn for investment

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Chief executive officer Jareeporn Jarukornsakul

Chief executive officer Jareeporn Jarukornsakul

WHA Corporation, also known as WHA Group, has unveiled a Bt43-billion five-year investment plan for Thailand and Southeast Asia in a bid to cash in on the emergence of high-end industries such as aerospace, as well as investment in logistics, the “digital economy” and real estate.

Chief executive officer Jareeporn Jarukornsakul said yesterday that the listed group saw more opportunities in Thailand after the announcement of the government’s initiative to develop the Eastern Economic Corridor in the provinces of Chachoengsao, Chon Buri and Rayong.

WHA Group is also planning further expansion in Southeast Asia to take advantage of the AseanEconomic Community, which is within what she termed the “oval” of India and mainland China.

“We feel more confident in the future after the charter referendum vote [on Sunday], and expect to see more foreign investors [entering Thailand], too,” she said.

Jareeporn said the group would focus on its four core businesses – logistics, industrial development, utilities and power, and digital platform – with an innovative digital platform and smart facilities to facilitate the emergence of new industrial super-clusters.

“After the acquisition and merger with Hemaraj Land and Development, WHA Group is gearing for expansion in both the domestic and overseas markets, such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Malaysia,” the CEO said.

Development of clusters

In Thailand, Hemaraj has played an instrumental role in the development of the automotive, electronics and petrochemical clusters, and it is now committed to being an active partner in the development of “future” industries such as digital, aviation, robotics, biofuels, biochemicals and health, she said.

Of the Bt43 billion set aside for investment, WHA Group will spend Bt14 billion on logistics centres both in Thailand and overseas.

Domestically, the group will continue to develop high-value rental properties, including built-to-suit warehouses, built-to-suit factories, warehouse farms combining built-to-suit and ready-built facilities, built-to-own customised warehouses or factories, and built-to suit offices.

“We intend, for instance, to develop a 500-rai [80-hectare] area for the aerospace and robotics industries in the vicinity of U-tapao Rayong Pattaya International Airport, which is poised to become an important commercial district for the aeronautics, cargo and automation industries,” Jareeporn said.

Last month, WHA handed over a built-to-suit 15,600-square-metre aerospace manufacturing facility to US-based Omada International.

In foreign markets, the objective of the group’s WHA Logistics arm is to expand by 10 per cent within the next five years in countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam and, later on, in Myanmar, Malaysia and Cambodia.

WHA Group last month announced the formation of a joint venture with Myanmar’s Daiwa House Industry, a major player in Japanese built-to-suit facilities, which is already present in Vietnam.

Currently, WHA Logistics controls space totalling 2.2 |million square metres in |built-to-suit logistics facilities, ready-built factories and warehouses.

Within the next five years, this figure is expected to surpass 3 million square metres in Thailand, and about 300,000 square metres overseas.

Utilities/power hub

Aside from logistics and industrial-estate investment, WHA Group plans to use Bt11 billion of its earmarked investment sum for its utilities and power hub, the chief executive said.

The group is involved in 13 power projects that will represent a combined capacity of 2,537 megawatts by 2019.

In power, the group will seek to be more proactive in conventional energy with its partners, while developing renewable energies and looking for new opportunities abroad, especially in Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the utilities part of the hub will be diversified through natural-gas distribution and telecom fibre optics, both inside and outside the Kingdom, she said, adding that Vietnam and Myanmar would be the priority foreign countries in this regard.

The group has also set aside Bt4 billion for investments in its digital-platform hub by planning for three to five data centres over the period 2016-2020.

Two are expected to be operational by the end of this year, a third in early 2018, while another two projects will be considered by 2020 in the Rama II and Wang Noi areas of Bangkok, she explained.

WHA Group projects revenue and profit-sharing with partners will exceed Bt21 billion by 2020, up from Bt12 billion last year, she said.

In four to five years, 10 per cent of revenue will come from the group’s overseas interests.

In 2020, the revenue and profit-sharing contribution from the logistics unit will be lowered from the current 47 per cent to 23 per cent, while the industrial unit’s contribution will increase from 31 per cent to 41 per cent.

The power unit’s contribution will fall from 22 per cent to 18 per cent in the period, while the new digital unit is expected to generate 18 per cent, Jareeporn said.

Ratch eyes opportunities in Asean

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


RATCHABURI Electricity Generat-ing Holding says its strategy will shift more to expansion into new business besides power and energy, and overseas investment, especially in Asean countries.

It targets capacity equivalent to 10,000 megawatts by 2023, with 20 per cent of that from renewable sources, so as to serve the country’s policy to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

In the first half of 2016, the company recorded profit of Bt2.36 billion, increasing by 2.3 per cent over the same period of last year, chief executive officer Rum Herabat told a news conference yesterday.

He added that Ratch’s growth strategy in the revised plan would heavily emphasise securing existing operations and enhancing organisational competency.

“We will drive growth by seeking new markets for acquiring expansion in electricity and energy business as well as extending into new businesses,” he said.

“For Thailand, Laos and Australia, our existing operations, the company will optimise returns of our commercially operated power plants and look for value-added business opportunity for future expansion. Meanwhile, the enhancement of the company’s competency will prioritise project risk management in relation to our overseas investment ambitions.

“Generally, we identify three groups for potential markets and overseas investment destinations: neighbouring countries, including Myanmar and Cambodia, seen as top priorities due to benefit for national-power-grid security; Asean nations, including Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam; and Asia-Pacific countries Japan and China,” he said.

The company is negotiating and conducting feasibility studies for power projects, renewables and related businesses in the targeted countries. It is expected that many projects will be considered for decision this year.

In Thailand, Laos and Australia, the existing operating bases, the company is formulating investment plans for renewable projects and new businesses. In Thailand, Ratch has decided to participate in the bidding for the Yellow and Pink lines of the Greater Bangkok urban-rail project because of confidence in its extensive engineering experience and considerable expertise in electric power.

Ratch strongly believes that the target of 10,000MW capacity equivalent will be achieved, he added.

In the first six months of 2016, the company realised additional capacity of 329.49MW, comprising 250.4MW from its Hongsa power plant, Unit 3; 55.65MW from Nava Nakorn Electricity Generating (NNEG) power plant; and 23.44MW from EDL-Generation in Laos.

Additionally, four projects under construction, with total capacity of 359MW, are progressing as planned.

The company said it was satisfied with its first-half financial performance, thanks to the 121-per-cent increase in profit sharing |from joint-venture entities to Bt1.236 billion, while the overseas revenue portion gradually grew to 8 per cent of the total, amounting to Bt2.091 billion, whereas 4-per-cent growth was seen last year.

In the first half, the company posted revenue of Bt27.399 billion, which included Bt23.323 billion in electricity sales from its Ratchaburi and Tri Energy power plants.

Under its current asset portfolio, Ratch owns a combined equity capacity of about 6,980MW, comprising 4,948.59MW (71 per cent of total capacity) from domestic projects and 2,031.42MW (29 per cent) from international projects.

In terms of generation fuels, there are fossil-fuel capacity of 6,085.97MW, accounting for 87.19 per cent of the total, and clean and renewable energy of 894.04MW (12.85 per cent). The company aims to increase the clean and renewable power portfolio to 20 per cent of the entire capacity goal of 10,000MW by 2023.

Big C Supercenter eyes regional growth

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BIG C Supercenter, under the direction of its new board of directors, is expanding its retail network into the region, starting with neighbouring Laos and Cambodia.

It will also support the group’s manufacturing and trading businesses in the region and complete the supply chain.

Chairman of Executive Committee Asawin Techajareon-vikul told The Nation on Wednesday that the company was already in Vietnam, where MM Mega Market operates 19 cash-and-carry stores.

In Vietnam, Central Group, Thailand’s retail conglomerate, has joined with local partner Nguyen Kim Group to take over Big C Vietnam from France’s Casino Group for 920 million euros (Bt36.6 billion).

Central said the acquisition reflected its strong will to keep expanding in Asia.

Big C Vietnam has 43 stores nationwide – 33 hypermarkets and 10 convenience stores – plus 30 shopping malls. Total revenue reached 586 million euros last year.

In Thailand, Big C started the year with exciting developments as in late March, Berli Jucker Group acquired Casino Group’s holding in it, Asawin said.

After the closing of the mandatory tender offer for the remaining shares in mid-May, BJC Group’s holding in Big C increased to nearly 98 per cent.

This change will further strengthen Big C’s business platform as various potential synergies have already been identified for execution over the coming years, he said.

“Big C is a good investment and retail corporation, and being a significant channel allows us to be close to individual consumers. We are harmonising the work culture, personnel and operations at Big C to be in the same direction,” he said.

The board sees tremendous opportunities to expand Big C’s retail network in Thailand’s market via its diversified retail formats, ranging from hypermarkets to smaller stores such as Big C Market and Mini Big C, or even drugstores.

The company plans to open six Big C hypermarkets this year, together with 10 Big C Markets and 70 Mini Big Cs.

The company has already opened Big C hypermarkets in Ranong and Nong Khai’s Phon Phisai district in the first half of this year.

Three Big C Markets have also opened this year in Loei’s Wang Saphung district, Nakhon Ratchasima’s Pak Thong Chai district and Kalasin’s Somdet district.

Big C Supercenter operates about 125 large-format stores (Big C Supercenter, Extra and Jumbo), 55 Big C Markets, 397 Mini Big Cs (including 164 in Bangchak service stations and three franchised stores) and 147 Pure drugstores in the Kingdom.

Big C is ready to be a cogwheel in the government’s policy to make Thailand a shopping hub in the region.

“We will provide tourists valuable information as well as a good experience about Thailand,” Asawin said.

Big C Ratchadamri is a good example, he said: It welcomes many tourists from China and Vietnam.

M Fitness sets Bt700m for expansion over five years

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation


M FITNESS CO LTD, a Thai-owned operator of fitness centres, announced yesterday that it will invest at least Bt700 million to increase the number of gyms from three to 10 in the next five years.

Visuth Surachalermkul, managing director of M Fitness, said the estimated investment in each M Fitness branch will be between Bt9 million and Bt25 million. The company’s aim is to provide integrated health clubs in response to a boom in the well-being trend and with state-of-the-art facilities as well as design following the standalone concept, it is bound to attract the attention of health lovers.

“We focus on ‘tailor-made’ strategy, embracing trendy design, space, facilities, exercise class and reasonable prices to ensure the satisfaction of each targeted community. Occupying 1,200 square metres, the third and latest branch in Taksin is ready to offer a better health experience. The club targets to expand into 10 branches in five years and acquire 5,000 members,” he said.

The company spent over Bt25 million to launch what can be considered a very advanced and integrated health club covering 1,200 square metres in Taksin. The club features a sky running track in order to offer customers an experience that is very different from a simple treadmill.

The first M Fitness branch was opened in late 2015 in Mahachai, near Ekachai Hospital, for holistic health lovers, and thanks to the great response, it opened a second branch on Rama II Road early this year.

“According to a report from International Health Racquet and Sports Club Association in 2015, the proportion of Thais exercising at health club stands at just 0.6 per cent of the total population, which is very low compared to other Asian countries, which average at 8 per cent. But behavioural trend is constantly changing and Thais have started focusing more on health. This trend has resulted in a great expansion of the fitness club business in Thailand, which is worth Bt9 billion at the moment, and the expected growth is 10 per cent this year,” Visuth said.

“For our expansion plans, we prefer standalone locations, but not necessarily. It will depend on the situation and the scenario,” he added.

Aeon Orange Co takes 14 Hypermarts in Myanmar

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AEON ORANGE CO, a joint venture between Aeon Co and Creation Myanmar Group of Companies, has acquired assets including 14 supermarkets operated by Hypermart Asia Co, an affiliate of CMGC, and started operating in Myanmar on Monday.

Aeon Orange Co was established in April. It is preparing to open its first supermarket in Myanmar this year.

With the economic liberalisation following the transition to civilian government, the modernisation of Myanmar’s retail industry has proceeded, while the middle-class population has been on the increase, the company says.

With a population of 53 million, the real economic growth rate in the country is 8.3 per cent, exceeding the average growth rate among five developed nations in Asean, while further growth is expected to accompany the country’s integration within the region. Myanmar continues to grow quickly.

CMGC operates 14 supermarkets, mainly in Yangon, the largest city in the country, and it has licences to sell more than 20 foreign brands including Adidas and Mango, operating about 130 speciality stores and real-estate businesses as well.

In the supermarket business, focusing on community-based management, CMGC has strengths such as merchandise procurement capability inside and outside the country, according to a press release by the company. It says it meets the needs of the region for processed and non-food products as well as know-how in developing stores of various sizes depending on the regional characteristics, from central city to suburb.

Aeon promotes a group-wide growth strategy under the shift to Asian markets in Asean and China.

In Myanmar, Aeon Microfinance (Myanmar) Co, established in 2012, began developing a consumer-finance business in 2013 as the first Japanese company to do so. In 2014, Aeon established a representative office in Myanmar, and has conducted research on developing retail business in the country.

To develop business in a speedy manner in this fast-growing market, Aeon says it believes that cooperation with CMGC is indispensable, as it has the retail-business infrastructure in the country and is also familiar with customer needs that differ from region to region.

Minor plans major expansion

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MINOR FOOD GROUP plans to invest Bt900 million to add 150 stores to its BreadTalk bakery chain within five years.

“We expect sales of BreadTalk to reach Bt500 million this year, up 50 per cent over last year. In five years, the company expects annual sales of the brand to reach Bt3.6 billion,” Choompot Tantisoonthorn, chief operating officer of cold chain, said last week.

Minor, one of the country’s largest restaurant operators, will open about 30 BreadTalk outlets every year over the period. The expansion would use two models – company-owned and franchised – in a ratio of 60:40.

Minor formed a joint venture in September 2014 with the BreadTalk group from Singapore to expand the bakery house business in Thailand and has no plan to take the brand to other markets in the region.

The company’s restaurant portfolio comprises of many well-known, mostly international brands – The Pizza Company, Swensen’s, Sizzler, Dairy Queen, Burger King, The Coffee Club and Thai Express.

“The bakery business is now expanding and has a positive outlook in Thailand due to the changing lifestyle of consumers, particularly youngsters, adults and families. These target segments are more likely to enjoy baked items as a dessert or as a gift for some special occasion,” he said.

Dr Grorge Quek and his wife launched BreadTalk in 2000 with a small shop at Bugis Junction in Singapore. Now, the company runs several food businesses such as leading food courts in many countries in Asia and the Middle East, and other restaurants with more than 1,000 branches in 16 countries.

Thailand counts 28 BreadTalks in Siam Paragon, CentralWorld, CentralPlaza Rama 2, The Mall Bangkapi, CentralPlaza Ladprao, Terminal 21, CentralPlaza Rama 9, The Mall Bangkae, Esplanade Ratchada, CentralPlaza Rama 3, Fashion Island, Mega Bangna, Gateway Ekkamai, The Mall Thapra, Silom Complex, Future Park Rangsit, Seacon Square Srinakarin, Central Westgate, CentralPlaza Pinklao, Riverside Plaza, The Street Ratchada, Central East Ville, Don MueangInternational Airport, The Mall Ngamwongwan, CentralPlaza Rattanathibet, The Promenade and Tesco Lotus Srinakarin.

BreadTalk’s marketing direction is to expand in the provinces, especially in tourist destinations, to meet the increasing demand for baked items and cakes. Although this market is highly competitive, BreadTalk remains the leader thanks to its superior taste, innovation, quality and variety, with more than 100 bakery items.

With the “open kitchen” concept, customers can see the dedicated baking process for each and every piece that is freshly served out of the oven, he added.

Banyat Athiyutkul, general manager of BTM (Thailand), also known as “BreadTalk”, said that to celebrate Mother’s Day on August 12, BreadTalk will host the “Bake for Mom” campaign to express appreciation and gratitude to mothers with specially designed cakes and bakery items. BreadTalk will donate Bt12 from each cake and baked item sold until this month to Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Foundation for Chitralada School.

Trane looks to branches in 3 CLMV markets

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TRANE THAILAND Co plans to seek new pastures in the neighbouring CLMV market-minus Vietnam in two to three years.

“With the opening of our own branches in Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos, we will be able to introduce the same business model of Thailand into those markets,” general manager Phanlop Techasuwan said yesterday.

The company has been appointed by its US head office to spearhead the march into the nearby markets for about five years.

Sales activities with end-customers in those neighbouring countries have been conducted directly by the Thai office.

The products distributed to those countries are limited to large-scale air-conditioning systems, mainly for commercial, residential, institutional and industrial markets.

In Thailand, Trane distributes its A/C products via 126 dealers around the country, of which 50 are in Bangkok.

Trane Thailand targets its sales to reach Bt5 billion this year, up from Bt4.6 billion last year.

The company has set a three-year goal of doubling its sales to Bt10 billion per year, and increasing the contribution from small-scale home A/Cs from 50 per cent currently to 60 per cent over the period.

Thailand’s overall home A/C market is expected to hit about Bt20 billion this year.

Trane expanded its plant located on Bang Na-Trat Road in Samut Prakan about two years ago at a cost of more than Bt100 million.

That increased its manufacturing capacity by 10-20 per cent, depending on the product.

The company’s sales in the first six months of this year – Bt2.7 billion – were quite satisfactory.

This was 10 per cent higher than the same half year last year and higher than the Bt2.5 billion that had been targeted.

Customers’ confidence

The strong performance was driven by brand reliability, customers’ confidence in product quality and excellent customer service.

Also, Trane was able to cover a wide range of products, from one to five tonnes in size, comprising wall, convertible, cassette and concealed ceiling models, up to large-scale five to 2,500-tonne mini chillers and chillers.

As an integrated vendor, it offers performance services, durability services, all sizes of A/C spare parts, a turnkey design and build service and an energy service that meet all of the demands.

“We also received credibility from commercial customers who have constantly extended their projects, especially department stores in several regions and the industrial factory that extended its production base in Thailand,” he said.

Other positive factors were the hotter climate in the past summer and the stimulated real estate market.

Trane also concentrates on ecological conditions by working with both domestic and international organisations to evaluate the eco-friendliest refrigerants.