Sunday, June 19, 2011


CHIANG RAI : Central Pattana Plc (CPN), the SET-listed commercial property flagship of the Central Group of Companies, aims to increase the number of its shopping complexes to 40-50 within the next decade, from 19 by the end of this year.
Kobchai Chirathivat (centre), CPN’s president and chief executive, joins Wallaya Chirathivat (third right), the executive vice-president for business development and construction, and other Central Group executives at Central Plaza Chiang Rai.

President and CEO Kobchai Chirathivat said the company planned to spend 50-60 billion baht from now until 2015 to develop 10 new shopping complexes in both the domestic and international markets.

The new outlets to be opened in 2011 and 2012 include Phitsanulok, Rama IX in Bangkok, Surat Thani and Chiang Mai, while the company will also renovate its existing store in Udon Thani.

An industry source said CPN also planned to develop new shopping complexes in Rayong, Ubon Ratchathani and Lampang in the future. It has already bought a plot of land in Songkhla as well, said the source.

CPN celebrated its 30th anniversary last Wednesday.

"We have set our business objective for our fourth decade to be one of the leading mall developers in the region in terms of the number of shopping centres and size," Mr Kobchai said.

He said the company would move at a faster pace than in the past by increasing gross building area by 15% every year, compared with 13% average annual growth over the past 10 years.

Wallaya Chirathivat, executive vice-president for business development and construction, said that CPN currently operated 16 shopping centres across the country with total gross building area of 3 million square metres. It plans to develop another 450,000 square metres of per year.

Mr Kobchai said the company also wanted to expand its rental revenues from retail space and its profits by at least 15% per year.

Apart from Thailand, Mr Kobchai plans to open shopping malls in high-potential overseas markets such as China.

The company's first overseas shopping complex will open in Qingdao in China by 2013, operated under a joint venture between CPN and a local investor. CPN holds a 30% stake in the venture.

To respond to faster business expansion in the next decade, the company has restructured its organisation by decentralising management and allowing executives from the general manager level to make decisions independently. Reporting layers have been cut by half to help the company grow and move more rapidly than in the past.

CPN shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 29.50 baht, up 75 satang, in trade worth 87.7 million baht.

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