Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 30 April 2004
Jurys Invests In Two Of Its Inns
Forli Makes It Four For Ramada Encore
De Vere Group Is Halfway And Up
Partouche Sees Rezidor SAS
Good First-Quarter For Accor
Fairmont To Enter Egypt And Return To Dubai
Shearings Takes Liberty's In Blackpool
NH Hoteles Has A Profitable First Quarter
Corinthia Restores Spirit To Lisbon
Kempinski On A Spree In Eastern Europe
Italians With A Job In Romania
Dorchester Group Appoints Two

Jurys Invests In Two Of Its Inns
Jurys Doyle Hotel Group is to acquire two hotels in Ireland that it already operates under financed lease agreements. The Irish Times reports that the company has the right to buy either hotel when the respective leases expire. Jurys Doyle has exercised that right immediately on the Jurys Inn Christchurch, paying a reported €9 million for the 185-room hotel in Dublin. The company expects to secure the 130-room Jurys Inn Galway for €11 million later this year. Also with money to spend is McEniff Hotels, which has drawn a reported €15 million from its wallet to pay Dublin City Council for a 96-room hotel currently under construction and due to open in May 2005 in the Finglas district of the capital. It should be easy to spot the latest hotel in the northwestern port of Sligo, for the 144-room Queen Maeve Hotel will rise to 15 storeys. Elsewhere in Ireland, the Carrigglass estate on the outskirts of Longford, Co. Longford, could be welcoming a 200-bed hotel as part of a €100 million mixed-use development.

Forli Makes It Four For Ramada Encore Return to Headlines
What is it that the UK now has two of, Switzerland only one, and until last week Italy none at all? The answer of course is a hotel with the Ramada Encore brand. Ramada International started the ball rolling in the UK in 2002 with the 104-room Ramada Encore York, and that hotel has now been joined by the 150-room Ramada Encore London West. The UK is set to take a 3-1 lead over Switzerland and Italy next month when south Wales welcomes the Ramada Encore Swansea Bay. Italy has pulled one back with the 84-room Ramada Encore Forli, which has opened in the north of the country. The northwest of Italy is the draw for Golden Tulip Hotels, which has signed the franchise agreement that will allow the 123-room, four-star Golden Tulip Valenza to bloom in April 2005.

De Vere Group Is Halfway And Up Return to Headlines
De Vere Group's Chairman Peter Daresbury said he was confident in the company's prospects for the remainder of its financial year as De Vere reached the halfway point – the 26 weeks to 28 March – with results ahead of the previous year's comparables. Pre-tax profit before exceptionals climbed 28.3% to £19.3 million and turnover rose 2.8% to £154.4 million. The portfolio of Village Hotels & Leisure Clubs, which, says De Vere Group, will see its ranks swollen by the development of four or five new sites every year from September 2006 onwards, saw like-for-like RevPAR rise 6.2% to £43.24. The De Vere Hotels portfolio posted like-for-like RevPAR of £58.42, a 2.2% increase on last year's comparable. De Vere Group last week expressed an interest in the Premier Lodge chain, and this week another competitor slipped into the stalls. The Sunday Times noted that stockbroker Collins Stewart is promising an accelerated initial public offering of the portfolio if it is first past the finishing post.

Partouche Sees Rezidor SAS Return to Headlines
A report in the French press suggests that Financière Partouche, the parent company of casino operator Groupe Partouche, is in talks to sell two hotels in France to Rezidor SAS Hospitality. Both properties are in the southeast of the country: the 245-room Le Meridien Part-Dieu in Lyons and the 73-room Best Western Hôtel du Golf in nearby La Tour de Salvagny. Stay in the south of France this summer and you should see seven new luxury suites unveiled on the top floor of the 337-room InterContinental Carlton Cannes.

Good First-Quarter For Accor Return to Headlines
Accor closed its first quarter with total revenues of approximately €1.6 billion, a like-for-like increase of 4.3% on the previous year's comparable. The hotels division contributed some €1.1 billion of this total, itself a like-for-like improvement of 4.2%. The star turn on the like-for-like revenues stage was the upscale and midscale hotels with an increase of 4.9% that was boosted by 10.5% growth in the UK and an 18.2% rise in revenues from Sofitel properties in the USA. Not surprisingly then, Accor was encouraged by its first-quarter performance, saying that the results confirmed that the recovery shown in the second half of 2003 had now taken root.

Fairmont To Enter Egypt And Return To Dubai Return to Headlines
Spring is in the air and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts' fancy has turned to the Middle East. The Canadian chain and the Nile City Investment Company have formed a joint venture to manage a luxury hotel in the Egyptian capital Cairo. Fairmont and the Kingdom Hotel Investment Group are each to invest some US$10 million in the hotel in return for a 15% equity interest apiece in the 552-room property, which is due to open in 2006. Fairmont's solitary hotel in the Middle East at present, the Fairmont Dubai, can expect company from late 2006 in the shape of The Fairmont Palm Jumeirah Resort, Dubai; this luxury 300-room resort comes courtesy of a strategic alliance with IFA Hotels & Resorts. Kuwait-based IFA Hotels has also been busy in South Africa, where it is to purchase the Zimbali Lodge from Afrisun Kwa-Zulu Natal. The five-star boutique property is part of the Zimbali Coastal Resort, where IFA Hotels & Resorts is to develop a hotel and timeshare complex. Back in Kuwait, the Ritz Hotels Company, part of A'amal Holding, has opened the 56-room Ritz Sharq Hotel in the capital Kuwait.

Shearings Takes Liberty's In Blackpool Return to Headlines
Those intending to book a Shearings holiday this summer should note the following changes to the UK brochure. Shearings Holiday Hotels has returned to the northwest of England, where it last month completed the purchase of the 50-room Strathmore Hotel in Morecambe, to acquire the privately owned Liberty's Hotel in Blackpool; the 69-room property sold for an undisclosed sum off an asking price of £3 million. The page that pictured the Abernant Lake Hotel in Llanwrtyd Wells in Powys, mid Wales, has been torn from the brochure; Shearings is to sell the 59-room property to a hotelier from north Wales. Elsewhere in the UK, Spanish duo Derby Hotels and investment group Metropolis are reported to be closing in on the €27 million purchase of the 160-room hotel The Caesar in central London.

NH Hoteles Has A Profitable First Quarter Return to Headlines
NH Hoteles' mood at the end of the first quarter to 31 March 2004 will be markedly different from what it was at the same time a year ago, the company having turned a loss of €3.6 million then into a net profit of €1.5 million now. The smiles were restored by the Sotogrande property unit, the company's operations in Latin America, and its hotels in Germany, which recorded a 3.8% rise in RevPAR and a 9.6% rise in revenue. Total group revenue for the quarter was 6.1% higher, at €219.5 million. In addition to the results came reports in the Spanish press that NH Hoteles was planning to open a hotel in the Italian city of Milan in 2006.

Corinthia Restores Spirit To Lisbon Return to Headlines
Corinthia Hotels International has reopened the Corinthia Alfa Hotel & Congress Centre exactly 13 months after the property in the Portuguese capital Lisbon closed for an extensive renovation. As a result of the work the hotel – now the largest conference hotel in the city – has 517 rooms and revels in new-found five-star status. Renovation is also in fashion over in Switzerland, where the Hotel Drei Könige in the city of Basle is the subject of the work, and in Austria too. Here the privately owned Hotel Wasnerin in the southeastern town of Bad Aussee will embark this autumn on work costing a reported €15 million. When the renovation finishes in September 2005 the hotel will have 90 rooms and Falkensteiner Hotels & Resorts as its manager.

Kempinski On A Spree In Eastern Europe Return to Headlines
Kempinski Hotels & Resorts will have a second hotel in the Russian city of St Petersburg by the end of the year after signing a management contract with St Petersburg Real Estate Agency on the 197-room Hotel Hermitage. In contrast, Kempinski will be stepping into nearby Latvia for the very first time, having signed a management contract on the Kempinski Kemeri Palace. The 150-room, five-star hotel in the resort of Jurmala is currently enjoying renovation work and is due to open by the end of this year. The company must wait a little longer – until 2006 – before it can set foot in Slovakia. By the end of that year the 220-room, five-star Kempinski Hotel RiverPark, part of a development owned by J&T, will have opened in the capital Bratislava.

Italians With A Job In Romania Return to Headlines
Three Italians – businessman Maurizio Scaglione and hoteliers Vicio Sole and Salvatore Ponte – are heading for the city of Timişoara in western Romania where they reportedly want to convert an existing building into a business hotel with 40 suites. Across in Hungary, native construction firm Arcadom wants to build one five-star hotel and two spa hotels in the southern town of Siklós; it might also build a four-star hotel in the neighbouring town of Harkány. Meanwhile, Polish firm Budimex is reported to have secured an US$11 million contract from Uzbektourism of Uzbekistan to renovate a hotel in Bukhara and build a hotel complex in Shakhrisyabz.

Dorchester Group Appoints Two Return to Headlines
The Dorchester Group, owner of luxury hotels including The Dorchester in London and the Hotel Principe di Savoia in Milan, wants to develop the Dorchester Group brand name alongside an expansion of its portfolio of hotels over the next ten years. This expansion will be led by Riccardo Obertelli, who has been promoted from his current position as Chief Operations Officer to become Global Development Director. By his side will be Francois Delahaye, who will combine his current position as General Manager of another hotel in the Dorchester Group collection, the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris, with his new role as Group Operations Director.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 22/04/04-29/04/04

De Vere Group - A good set of interims lifted the share price; Investec retains a 'Hold' rating on the stock.

Millennium & Copthorne - UBS raised its target price from 330p to 370p and placed a 'Neutral' rating on the stock.

Accor - Morgan Stanley keeps its 'Overweight' rating. Société Générale upgraded its rating from 'Conserve' to 'Sell'.