Dalian Wanda, the conglomerate controlled by China’s richest man, Wang Jianlin, has made outlandish headlines a routine occurrence in recent months, however, the company’s recent announcement of plans to add 24 new shopping malls within the next year, as well as 18 new five-star hotels, still seems a bit crazy.
Of course, this is a company that recently threw down the white glove with Mickey Mouse by announcing plans for an amusement park in Wuxi that Wang challenged observers to compare “head to head with Shanghai Disney in terms of park visitors, and amount of revenue and see who is better.”
Dalian Wanda 2014 Goals
And speaking of taking on Disney, at first glance, the goals set out by Wanda’s directors at a January 11th meeting may seem a bit goofy. The Beijing-based firm’s objectives for 2014 include:
- Attaining group assets of RMB 450 billion
- Achieving group revenue of RMB 240 billion
- Bringing in real estate revenue of RMB 183 billion
- Building the revenues of the group’s cultural enterprises to RMB 31.75 billion
- Opening 24 new shopping malls
- Establishing 18 new five-star hotels
However, a closer look at the company’s 2013 performance, shows that the 2014 goals, while ambitious may not be all that insane.
Real Estate Operations in 2013
According to its own report, for this past year, Wanda increased income from its real estate business by 32 percent to 145.6 billion yuan, while opening 18 new Wanda Plaza shopping centres – to bring the total number of these malls to 85.
For its hotel business, the company opened 16 new hotels last year, bringing its total holdings to 54 properties, including 51 which are said to be five-star. During 2013 Wanda made headlines globally by acquiring billion dollar hotel projects in both New York and London.
Cultural Business Catching Up
While Dalian Wanda started out as a real estate company in China’s Liaoning province, Wang’s attention seems to have turned to building an entertainment business, especially since it acquired US theatre chain AMC in 2012.
In 2013, Wanda Cultural Industry Group 2013, which includes AMC, as well as the Sunseeker yacht firm which Wanda acquired for over US$500 million in June, increased its revenues by 23 percent to 25.5 billion yuan.
Comparing 2013 Performance to 2014 Plans
In light of the Wanda’s strong growth in 2013, the company’s projections for the coming year seem a bit less outlandish. The following table provides a quick comparison.
Just as many China developers surprised the market with their strong performance in during 2013, the government’s recent moves to clamp down on credit, combined with rising competition for land, have made many analysts project that even industry giants like Wanda will have a hard time building on their last year’s performance.