Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 20 February 2004
NH Hoteles Does Justice To The Hague
Tower Of Scotland: Beetham Is Well Versed
Spanish Glory Is The Story For Oasis
A First Purpose-Built Resort For Syria
Saudi Arabia Gets A Foot In The Time-Share Door
Millennium & Copthorne Glimpses The Sun And Gets Tan
Jurys Finds For Danesfield In Limerick
Warsaw Packed Out By Groupe Envergure
What To Do In London With A Shard Of Glass And Some Docks
Dedeman: A Leap Into Aleppo and A Possible Hello To Tatar
Jarvis Hotels Puts Second London Property Up For Sale
De Vere Group Pleases With Trading Update

NH Hoteles Does Justice To The Hague
Twenty-eight hotels in the Netherlands and yet not one of them in The Hague: a deficiency that NH Hoteles will make good in July 2005 when it opens hotel number 29. The company has taken a 25-year lease on the 206-room, four-star NH Den Haag, which will form part of BPF Bouwinvest's Prinsenhof complex. In the nearby resort of Scheveningen, meanwhile, ING Groep, the Dutch arm of ING Real Estate, has stretched out a hand to take an undisclosed sum from a group of unnamed private investors for the 255-room Steigenberger Kurhaus Hotel. Reports suggest the market value of the five-star property was between €40 million and €50 million.

Tower Of Scotland: Beetham Is Well Versed Return to Headlines
The Beetham Organization, which has already secured permission to put Hilton International behind glass in a 47-storey tower in Manchester, now reportedly has similarly lofty ambitions for Edinburgh. The Liverpool-based group wants a five-star hotel to be a feature of what at 40 storeys would be Scotland's tallest building. Forth Ports, in partnership with Lattice and Waterfront Edinburgh, is redeveloping the harbour area of the Scottish capital and would want the tower to grace a man-made island. Elsewhere in the city, it would seem six storeys is sufficient for HBOS, which has reportedly offered £7 million for the council's former headquarters on the Royal Mile. The bank has plans to convert part of the building into a luxury 110-room hotel.

Spanish Glory Is The Story For Oasis Return to Headlines
The opening this April of the 234-room, five-star Grand Oasis Paraiso Beach in Estepona and the 201-room, four-star Oasis Albir Playa near Benidorm will mark the start of Oasis Hotels & Resorts' ambitious plans for the Mediterranean coastline of Spain. A report in the Spanish press says that the company will be spending €170 million over the next three years on opening six to eight new properties. If Oasis is on the Costa del Sol in autumn 2006, then it is likely to bump into Park Plaza Hotels Europe. It will be making its first trip to the country to open Club La Costa Resorts & Hotels' 182-room, de luxe four-star property in Mijas. An encounter in Spain with NH Hoteles is inevitable at any time. The company has opened the €11 million 88-room, four-star NH Palacio de Oriol in Santurtzi to the northwest of Bilbao.

A First Purpose-Built Resort For Syria Return to Headlines
Antarados, a Syrian-British joint venture company, will be offering up contracts next month to those interested in building a 5,000-bed resort in Tarţūs on the coast of Syria. Some of these beds will be housed in two hotels – one four-star and one five-star – that will each have 200 rooms. InterContinental Hotels Group is thought to be interested in operating both properties. The Mediterranean coastline of Lebanon is the attraction for Izzedin Sammoura. He wants to renovate the former Romanos Hotel in the southwestern port of Saida and reopen it in 18 months' time as the four-star Al-Qalaa Hotel.

Saudi Arabia Gets A Foot In The Time-Share Door Return to Headlines
The Zam Zam Tower Complex, which is under development in the city of Mecca, promises to give Saudi Arabia its first taste of time-share. Kuwaiti company Munshaat Real Estate Projects has taken a lease on the property from the Binladin Construction Group. Not to be outshone, the island of Bahrain has called for three towers on the US$100 million Al-Marjan Beach development, in the capital Manama. A five-star hotel will occupy one of the towers. The emirate of Dubai would like two towers, one of which will house a five-star hotel. The Capital Towers project, which is expected to cost some US$109 million and take 20 months to complete, currently seeks a builder. In contrast, seven construction companies have answered the call to build a 238-room, five-star hotel as part of the expansion of the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. One lucky winner will secure the US$54 million contract and will have until mid 2005 to complete the job.

Millennium & Copthorne Glimpses The Sun And Gets Tan Return to Headlines
Halfway through 2003 and weakened by the outbreak of Sars and the war in Iraq, Millennium & Copthorne (M&C) posted a pre-tax loss of £6.3 million. At the time, the company saw signs of recovery and fulfilled these hopes with a creditable performance over the next six months. M&C thus finished the year to 31 December with a pre-tax profit of £18.7 million. This figure though was down 68.9% on the previous year, with group turnover falling 7.8% to £523.1 million. Marketwide occupancy shed 2.1 percentage points to finish on 65.1%, a fall which helped to push RevPAR down by 9.2%, to £40.10. Nevertheless, marketwide RevPAR for the new trading year as at 14 February was 0.3% ahead of the previous year's comparable, and Chairman Kwek Leng Beng said the outlook for 2004 was positive. One man who can contribute towards a better year for M&C is Michael Tan, who this week started in his new role as Executive Vice President (Chairman's Office). Mr Tan, recently retired as Singapore Airlines' Senior Executive Vice President (Commercial), will be charged, among other tasks, with branding, product positioning and strategic marketing.

Jurys Finds For Danesfield In Limerick Return to Headlines
Jurys Doyle Hotel Group has agreed to sell the Jurys Limerick Hotel to Danesfield for €9.75 million in cash, and expects to complete the deal on the 95-room property by 5 April. Fans of the company need not get too misty eyed, though, for the company will still have a presence in the city in the shape of the Jurys Inn Limerick, to which property Jurys Doyle will thus be able to devote more of its time. The Jurys Inn brand has an important role in the company's future plans, with a total of five such hotels due to open by summer 2005 in the UK and Ireland. Indeed, one of the quintet, the 216-room Jurys Inn Leeds, is poised to open next weekend. Back in Ireland, the Dundrum Shopping Centre in Dublin's southern suburbs is to be bulldozed to make way for a mixed-use development that will feature a 105-room hotel.

Warsaw Packed Out By Groupe Envergure Return to Headlines
Three hotels, three different brands, all in one location: next month's special offer from Groupe Envergure in Warsaw. The opening of a €30 million complex featuring one Première Classe hotel, one Campanile hotel and one Kyriad Prestige hotel will take the company's Polish portfolio to seven, but it will not end there. One hotel in each of the cities of Poznań and Lublin will be ready by September, with Groupe Envergure's eventual target for the country set at 15. Another French company, unnamed in reports, is said to be holding talks with the council in the Bulgarian Black Sea resort of Primorsko with a view to building a US$12.8 million tourist complex. Spa water is the commodity that Slovenian resort operator Terme Čatež hopes will bring the tourists flooding to a US$37.8 million complex it is to build in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo. A hotel will feature in the second part of the two-phase development of the Terme Ilidza resort.

What To Do In London With A Shard Of Glass And Some Docks Return to Headlines
Multiplex, the Australian construction firm currently engaged in raising the new Wembley Stadium, is reported to be the favourite to win Sellar Property Group's contract to build the London Bridge Tower. The £350 million tower, which has been nicknamed the Shard of Glass, promises to be Europe's tallest building when it is ready in 2009. A hotel will occupy part of the 310-metre tower. Guests looking from the windows there might well be able to spot the hotel that British Waterways wants to build at Wood Wharf in Docklands. The company is seeking a partner to join it in its £2 billion mixed-use scheme, which is due to be completed in 2007.

Dedeman: A Leap Into Aleppo and A Possible Hello To Tatar Return to Headlines
Turkish chain Dedeman Hotels & Resorts International is growing ever more adventurous in its expansion plans, which last year took it out of Turkey for the first time and into Moldova and Uzbekistan. Reports suggest that the company will be off to northeastern Syria this May to operate two hotels in the city of Aleppo: the Country Club Hotel and the Aqua Park Hotel. Dedeman is thought to be interested too in possibilities in Prague, and Kazan, the capital of the Tatar Autonomous Republic in western Russia. Dedeman's compatriot Rixos Hotels also fancies a trip abroad; reports suggest that it is to buy the Hotel Libertas in the Croatian resort of Dubrovnik from MG Adriatic. In Cyprus, meanwhile, local operator Mirator Beach has sold the 130-room, four-star Marathon Beach hotel, near Limassol, to Lydgewood Properties for a reported US$9.2 million.

Jarvis Hotels Puts Second London Property Up For Sale Return to Headlines
A week on from announcing the proposed sale of the Ramada Plaza Regent's Park, Jarvis Hotels has revealed that a second London property is on the market: the 82-room Ramada Jarvis Kensington, which has a reported asking price of more than £12.5 million. The removal van is likely to pass right by the doors of Italian chain Baglioni Hotels' first hotel in the UK. The 68-room, five-star Baglioni Hotel London is located close to the Royal Albert Hall, and is due to open on 15 March. Elsewhere in the UK, the fifth and last of a quintet of UK properties operated by Queens Moat Houses that were put up for sale last autumn has been sold. Britannia Hotels has paid the Bank of Scotland an undisclosed sum for the 124-room Wigan Standish Moat House, which has been renamed the Britannia Wigan Hotel.

De Vere Group Pleases With Trading Update Return to Headlines
De Vere Group's shareholders should have an annual general meeting to remember as their company's trading update revealed a strong performance over the 19 weeks to 8 February. Group turnover for the period was 3.4% ahead of the previous year's comparable, with the De Vere Hotels and the Village Hotels returning like-for-like turnover figures that were ahead 1.8% and 2.2%, respectively. Like-for-like RevPAR over the 19 weeks was up 1.8% at the De Vere properties and 5.8% at the Village Hotels. Although cautioning that its overall trading environment remained variable, De Vere Group restored the smiles to the faces by saying that all of its brands were trading positively.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 12/02/04-19/02/04

Whitbread - Deutsche Bank last week upgraded its rating from 'Hold' to 'Buy'. UBS is optimistic about the company's forthcoming trading statement and retains its 'Buy 1' rating.

Hilton Group - UBS raised its rating from 'Neutral' to 'Buy'.

Millennium & Copthorne - The company's pre-tax profit met UBS's expectations; the bank retained its 'Neutral 2' rating. Morgan Stanley keeps an 'Underweight' rating.