P.R.S. Oberoi (left) and S.S. Mukherji in Calcutta on Tuesday. A Telegraph picture
Calcutta, Aug. 6: EIH Ltd, which operates the Oberoi and Trident brand of hotels, expects to address the concerns of slowdown in hospitality with its twin strategies of opening more properties and weaning away business from competitors.
The company has reported a 12 per cent growth in net profit in the first quarter ended June on the back of a rise in occupancy rates. Executive chairman P.R.S. Oberoi said the firm was looking to sustain the growth momentum.
“We are reasonably confident that the trend will continue,” he said after the 63rd annual general meeting of the company here today.
The hospitality chain has increased the number of rooms by 252 with the commissioning of its property in Dubai during the first quarter and is set to add 326 more rooms of the Trident in Hyderabad within a few weeks.
The company is also planning to set up hotels in Goa, Pune, Chandigarh, Navi Mumbai and residential apartments in Bangalore.
Vice-chairman S.S. Mukherji said the promoters were open to increasing its stake in the firm “as and when required”.
As of June 30, the promoters held around 36 per cent in EIH. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Investment and Holding Pvt Ltd and ITC Ltd hold 18.53 per cent and 14.98 per cent, respectively.
Oberoi today took a dig at the government’s apathy towards the development of the sector. “It is most unfortunate that the Centre and state governments have not realised the importance of the travel and tourism industry. It is vital that the sector is given the importance it so rightly deserves,” he said.
Tourist arrivals have remained low in India in 2011-12. Only 6.3 million visitors came to the country against 58 million in China, 19 million in Thailand and 33 million in Turkey.
The hospitality sector has been demanding infrastructure status from the government to borrow funds at low interest rates to create capacity.