Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 7 May 2004
Travelodge In Ireland Welcomes Smorgs Aboard
Partouche Persuades Rezidor SAS That Seven Is Lucky
Enjoy Whitbread's Full-Year Results
Le Meridien Finds The German For 'Come In Number Eight'
Cerruti Flares In The Middle East
Millennium & Copthorne Masters The First Quarter
Starwood Cracks Cracow
Gulf Cooperates With IHG's Express By Holiday Inn Plan
Cendant Corporation Buys Landal Green Parks
London Town Heads Out Of Town For Days
Morrissey Off To Homebase For A Paintbrush

Travelodge In Ireland Welcomes Smorgs Aboard
Smorgs Limited, a private company owned and operated by hoteliers Seamus McGowan and Richard O'Sullivan, has purchased all eight of the Travelodge hotels in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic for €22.15 million. As part of the deal the new owners have also signed a master franchise agreement that presents Smorgs with the opportunity of doubling the size of the Irish portfolio, which currently totals 520 rooms, over the next five years. Travelodge's Chief Executive Grant Hearn saw the deal as marking an important stage in the company's plans to grow the Travelodge brand internationally.

Partouche Persuades Rezidor SAS That Seven Is Lucky Return to Headlines
Rezidor SAS Hospitality is set to have seven new hotels in France from 1 June thanks to a long-term lease contract it and Dutch financial group Darthall have signed with Groupe Partouche. Two of the hotels, the 245-room Le Meridien Part-Dieu in Lyons and the 102-room Park Hotel du Casino in the eastern resort of Aix-les-Bains, will each take the Radisson SAS brand and become known as the Radisson SAS Hotel Lyon and the Radisson SAS Hotel Aix Les Bains. The remaining five properties – in Nancy, Mâcon, Orange, Arcachon and on the outskirts of Lyons – will all unfurl the Park Inn flag and embark on a programme of refurbishment.

Enjoy Whitbread's Full-Year Results Return to Headlines
Time for cake and candles at Whitbread in celebration not only of the Beefeater brand's 30th birthday but also of a strong set of results for the year ending 4 March: pre-tax profit before exceptionals up 13% to £240.8 million and divisional turnover 4.8% ahead of the previous year, at £1.86 billion. Beefeater, an occasional party pooper in the past, fully deserved its cake this time around as the pub restaurants posted a 9.8% rise in operating profit, to £84.1 million. It was the turn of the Marriott hotels to sit glumly in the corner as they returned operating profit down 10% on the previous year, at £71.5 million. No such despondency surrounds the Travel Inn hotels, where operating profit rose 11% to £74 million and RevPAR increased by 1.0% to £33.28. Travel Inn's reward is the bulk of the £250 million to £275 million Whitbread has set aside for capital expenditure in 2004/05, whereas the Marriott portfolio will have its capital structure reviewed.

Le Meridien Finds The German For 'Come In Number Eight' Return to Headlines
Le Meridien will be opening hotel number eight in Germany this November when the 281-room Le Meridien Stuttgart makes its bow in the west of the country. The five-star property, which is owned by Münchener Versicherungen and insurance firm Aachener, will this month embark on a programme of refurbishment costing €19 million. Elsewhere in Germany, Kempinski Hotels & Resorts has announced the arrival of a 1,000 m² extension to the Hotel Adlon Kempinski in Berlin, which brings with it 69 new rooms, including 20 suites. The company has also given thought to dedicated cruise passengers docking in Hamburg who want to feel they are still afloat. In partnership with Sea Cloud Cruises Kempinski has opened the Sea Cloud Suite as part of the ongoing renovation of the Kempinski Hotel Atlantic. Over the border in Switzerland, those becalmed in vessels on Lake Geneva will notice that the Le Montreux Palace has changed its name to Raffles Le Montreux Palace in tribute to Raffles International, its manager of the last three years.

Cerruti Flares In The Middle East Return to Headlines
It is just over a year since Rezidor SAS Hospitality launched its lifestyle brand Cerruti in a joint initiative with the fashion house that bears the name. Now, with projects safely underway in the Austrian capital Vienna, in Düsseldorf in western Germany, and in the Belgian capital Brussels, Rezidor has this week sketched out its designs for the Middle East. The Media City development in the emirate of Dubai will receive a 137-room Cerruti hotel early next year. A few steps behind on the catwalk is the Salmiya development in Kuwait, which will be modelling a 350-room hotel come mid 2006. Rezidor is also preening itself after announcing that it is to be the first international company for 25 years to set foot in the Iranian hotel market. The company is to manage the 168-room Dariush Grand Hotel, which is due to open shortly on Kish Island in the Persian Gulf.

Millennium & Copthorne Masters The First Quarter Return to Headlines
Millennium & Copthorne (M&C) has made a promising start to 2004 with pre-tax profit of £5.6 million and turnover of £126.6 million for the three months to 31 March both ahead of the previous year's comparables by 19.1% and 1.2%, respectively. Marketwide RevPAR was 3.7% ahead on last year, at £38.02, and over the four weeks to 28 April was running 24.4% ahead. M&C's hotels in London turned in a strong RevPAR performance over the quarter, posting a rise of 4.6%, to £57.57.

Starwood Cracks Cracow Return to Headlines
Starwood Hotels & Resorts has won the race to be the first international operator to open a five-star hotel in the southern Polish city of Cracow. PKO Bank Polski and others helped make the Sheraton Hotel a reality by together investing a reported US$43 million in the 233-room property. Further east, in Lithuania, local holding company Invalda, through its subsidiary Valmeda, is reported to have paid an undisclosed sum to MG Baltic for the 168-room, two-star Ecotel Vilnius, which is one of the largest economy hotels in the country.

Gulf Cooperates With IHG's Express By Holiday Inn Plan Return to Headlines
If the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council look down the line they will see the Express by Holiday Inn brand racing towards them. InterContinental Hotels Group has plans to open more than 20 such hotels in the Middle East over the next five years, with the first three set to open by the end of next year in the emirate of Dubai and the Saudi cities of Jeddah and Riyadh. The Saudi Real Estate Development Company is conducting affairs in its homeland, and hopes to have 12 hotels open across the country by the end of 2009. Elsewhere in the Middle East, the National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels, which is based in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, is to treat its fellow citizens to their first luxury boutique resort this autumn by opening the 99-room Al Raha Beach Hotel. The company has also made its first investment overseas by acquiring a 15% stake in the Hilton Rabat in Morocco.

Cendant Corporation Buys Landal Green Parks Return to Headlines
Cendant Vacation Rental Group will now have greater compass after Cendant Corporation paid some US$150 million in cash for Dutch company Landal Green Parks, which manages 9,000 privately owned vacation rental properties spread across 53 holiday parks in the Netherlands, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic. The deal means that Cendant Vacation Rental Group, which counts brands including Blakes Country Cottages and French Life among its collection, will have a portfolio of more than 50,000 properties in over 22 countries.

London Town Heads Out Of Town For Days Return to Headlines
Cendant Hotel Group Europe may perhaps be enjoying the irony of putting London Town Hotels (LTH) to work outside the capital developing a portfolio of franchised properties, most of which will fly the Days Hotel flag. LTH will work in tandem with property development and investment company Opus Land, whom Cendant hired last year to seek out suitable locations, on three new-build projects initially and will aim to have at least one of these properties open in 2005. Aside from this deal, LTH, which currently operates five hotels in central London under the Quality, Comfort and Country Inns & Suites brands, noted that it was in talks aimed at acquiring a hotel in London.

Morrissey Off To Homebase For A Paintbrush Return to Headlines
Actor Neil Morrissey will be hoping future guests do not behave badly when they stay at the Browns Hotel in Laugharne, west Wales, especially as the eight-room property is to undergo renovation work that will turn it into a boutique hotel. Morrissey and his business partner Matt Roberts acquired the property last month. Down on the south coast of England, Blue Mermaid Hotels has splashed its cash on a fifth hotel in Bournemouth, paying slightly over £2 million for the 68-room Tralee Hotel. Any mermaid finding herself in the River Bann in Northern Ireland might see a hotel rise on the University of Ulster's campus in the town of Coleraine.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 29/04/04-06/05/04

Whitbread - Morgan Stanley raised its price target from 750p to 800p as Whitbread's results exceeded the broker's expectations.

Millennium & Copthorne - The company's good first-quarter found few admirers among analysts; Merrill Lynch placed a 'Sell' rating on the stock.

Sol Meliá - The share price fell amid concerns on the Spanish market of the effect rising oil prices could have on the cost of airline fuel.