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East India Hotels eyes Gulf for expansion

Thursday, August 20, 2009 (17:13:08) Tags: business, hospitality,EIH,Oberoi Group, Abu Dhabi, terror attacks New Delhi: East India Hotels (EIH), the flagship company of hospitality major Oberoi Group, is setting up two hotels in the Gulf region, one at Abu Dhabi and the other in Oman, while its property in Dubai is progressing well, the group said in a statement today. The company, which reported a 21.53 percent drop in its net profit to Rs.170.44 crore in 2008-09, said plans for consolidation and expansion were on track. These include renovation of Trident Hotel in Mumbai, one of last year's terror attacks. The hotel is expected to reopen in the first quarter of 2010. Among hotels that are to come into operation is the 440-room Trident Hotel at Bandra Kurla, and another at Gurgaon. Apart from this, the Oberoi Group is also building a hotel near the Bangalore airport and two in Hyderabad under the Trident and Oberoi brands. EIH's revenues in the last fiscal dropped 7.1 percent to Rs.1,073.06 crore from Rs.1,155.11 crore in the the previous year. The company attributed the drop in revenues to the combined effect of the Mumbai terrorist attacks and the global economic meltdown. "The global financial crisis and the terror attacks on India's financial capital Mumbai last November have resulted in a sharp drop in foreign visitors to India," said group chairman P.R.S. Oberoi. "Hotel occupancies and revenues have been significantly affected and the travel and tourism industry is experiencing challenging times. The recent H1N1 pandemic could further restrict global travel," added Oberoi. The group has also signed a management contract for an Oberoi hotel and residences in Marrakech, Morocco, for which planning was underway. It is also scaling up its flight kitchen business, with operations in Mauritius, Kochi and Calicut expected to commence operations in 2010 while a new flight kitchen in Delhi was expected to start in 2011.(IANS)