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Platinum to splash out on wholesale hub

Massive project eyes foreign buyers

Platinum Group Plc, a fashion wholesale centre operator in Pratunam, will allocate 5 billion baht on a new wholesale project to be launched by 2021 in a bid to push the district to become the largest wholesale hub in Asean.

President Chanchai Phansopha said the project will not only involve wholesale clothing, but other products as well.

The area the company aims to develop for the project will span from Phetchaburi Road and the nearby Intra-Pratunam shopping centre to the Airport Rail Link. It is open on investment conditions, whether the company goes it alone, sets up a joint venture with landlords, leases the land or pursues a merger and acquisition scheme.

The project will be developed on about five rai of land. It will require 5 billion baht in investment with retail space of 35,000-40,000 square metres.

Thailand's wholesale sector is popular, with annual trade value in the Pratunam district estimated at more than 10 billion baht.

Mr Chanchai said Singaporean and Malaysian customers are still the top visitors to the company's Platinum Fashion Mall, while the number of Indonesian customers last year quadrupled from 2015.

There are also more foreigners from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam interested in travelling to Thailand to purchase wholesale clothing items to be resold in their respective countries, where the economies are growing rapidly. This demand is the driving force behind the wholesale project.

"We want the government to support wholesale project investors with some tax privileges because the business helps Thai SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) a lot," he said.

The company will also allocate 4 billion baht to build two office buildings and a four-star hotel in front of The Market Bangkok, located next to Big C Ratchadamri, by the end of 2019.

The office building expansion will boost its rental area by another 30,000 sq m to 99,298 sq m, up from 74,924 sq m at present.

Last year, Platinum generated total sales of 1.86 billion baht, up 5% from 2015, and its consolidated net profit hit a new high of 704 million, up 12%.

Key factors driving profit growth came from higher rents and service fees for lease and service contracts that expired during the year. Platinum also provided lease areas in Talad Neon, a downtown night market located on Phetchaburi Soi 23-29.

Its operating profit was mainly generated by three sources -- 1.1 billion baht from rental and service fees, 365 million from hotel operation revenue and 246 million from food and beverages.

Miscellaneous categories accounted for another 145 million baht.

PLAT shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 7.10 baht, unchanged, in trade worth 2.95 million baht.

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