Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 10 September 2004
Will The Prince Take The Savoy's Hand In Marriage?
Hello And Welcome Back To Radisson SAS…Nice
The Tulips: A New Double Act
Hijazi Railways Calls At Damascus
The Sale Of Seventy-Six Hotels Leads IHG's Interim Parade
Hilton Will Be Coming Down The Mountain In October
Accor Records A Rise In Interim Pre-Tax Profit
Greene Signals The Start Of A Revolution
Expo Hoteles: A New Exhibit In Barcelona
Jurys Satisfied With Six Months
Rocco Forte Decides To Hold A 'Septemberfest' Instead
Arthur Awoke And Found Heaven Was Salonika
A New Hotel In Hampshire: Can Paxton Pull It Off?

Will The Prince Take The Savoy's Hand In Marriage?
In May this year Quinlan Private completed the £750 million purchase of The Savoy Group from the Blackstone Group and Colony Capital. Four months on and the press is now abuzz with news that a stake in one of the properties in the portfolio – the world famous Savoy Hotel in London – could now be sold to Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal for more than £200 million. The 263-room hotel, which, at the time of the original Quinlan deal was reportedly due to receive 150 new rooms, is likely to become part of the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts portfolio if the prince, who is working in partnership with Bank of Scotland Corporate, is successful in his quest. He will certainly be hopeful, as he was one of the bidders vying with Quinlan in the original auction.

Hello And Welcome Back To Radisson SAS…Nice Return to Headlines
The people of southeast France this week released the tension arising from the expectancy of the last nine months with a collective gasp of admiration as Radisson SAS Hotels threw back the dustsheets to reveal the freshly refurbished Radisson SAS Hotel, Nice. The work on the property, which now boasts 331 fully renovated rooms, cost €21.5 million. Northern Ireland too had cause to celebrate, as it welcomed the €20 million Radisson SAS Hotel, Belfast to the Cromac Wood Business Park. The new 120-room property is the company's second hotel in the country; the first was the 118-room Radisson SAS Roe Park Resort, which opened in Limavady in January 2003.

The Tulips: A New Double Act Return to Headlines
The Dutch city of Amsterdam can fulfil many a fantasy: for a devotee of Golden Tulip Hotels (GTH) this is the sight of a pair of the company's hotels embracing (in this instance the Golden Tulip Amsterdam Art and the Tulip Inn Amsterdam Art). What the company quite openly refers to as a 'twin act' – a Golden Tulip hotel and a Tulip Inn hotel in intimate conjunction – is about to excite fresh crowds elsewhere in the Netherlands. A former office building in the western city of Leiden is nearing the end of renovation work that has turned it into the 52-room Tulip Inn Leiden Centre. The hotel, which by 2007 will have a total of 94 rooms, is set to open in January 2005 alongside the existing 54-room Golden Tulip Leiden. GTH is keen to encourage the twinning process in other locations.

Hijazi Railways Calls At Damascus Return to Headlines
A newspaper report from the region notes that Syria's General Organization for Hijazi Railways has put in train plans to open a four-star hotel costing some US$100 million on land that it owns in the Syrian capital Damascus. Across in Kuwait, it would seem from reports there that the signals are set in favour of German developer Feuring Group and its plans to build a boutique hotel in the capital of Kuwait in partnership with the recently established real estate firm Alamara Projects.

The Sale Of Seventy-Six Hotels Leads IHG's Interim Parade Return to Headlines
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has posted a 55.4% increase in pre-tax profit, to £143 million, and a 5.6% rise in group turnover, to £1.1 billion. But the results for the six months to 30 June 2004 may perhaps on this occasion be overshadowed by the company's confirmation of further asset disposals. In this latest round, a batch of 76 hotels with a total net book value of some £1.3 billion has been put up for sale. The bulk of these assets is in the UK – IHG mentioned only two properties by name, the Holiday Inn Mayfair and the Holiday Inn Kensington, both in London – and these will be joined on the market by the likes of the InterContinental Paris. IHG intends to retain management or franchise agreements on many of the hotels. Shareholders chewing over this news and the information that the hotels division saw operating profit rise 50.7%, to £113 million, will also be licking their lips at the prospect of an early Christmas present: a special dividend of £500 million. And once the first phase of IHG's share buy-back scheme concludes, it will be time for phase two, which, like the first, will be worth £250 million.

Hilton Will Be Coming Down The Mountain In October Return to Headlines
Those within earshot of the resort of Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands on 1 October should listen out for a lament on the pipes followed almost immediately by an authentically Scottish whoop of delight. These sounds will mark, respectively, the lowering of Hilton International's flag at the 88-room Hilton Aviemore and the adjoining 62-room Aviemore Inn and the assumption of ownership of the two properties by Macdonald Hotels. The hotels were once part of the Stakis portfolio that Hilton acquired in 1999 and Hilton has now sold the properties on, for an undisclosed sum, as part of its commitment to streamlining its UK portfolio.

Accor Records A Rise In Interim Pre-Tax Profit Return to Headlines
Accor reached the halfway point in its financial year with pre-tax profit 25% up on the previous year's comparable, at €225 million, and revenues 4.1% higher, at €3.4 billion. The company witnessed a sharp rise in like-for-like EBITDAR in the UK and certain other European nations, and at its upscale hotels in the USA. However, this joy was tempered by only modest returns from hotels in France and in the economy sector in the USA. Nevertheless, Accor feels that autumn is a season of greater promise for these troubled regions and has set itself a target for full-year pre-tax profit of €570 million to €590 million; the company's pre-tax profit in 2003 was €523 million. A few euro towards the cause will surely be generated by the company's tenth hotel in Luxembourg: the 75-room Ibis Luxembourg Sud, which opened recently in the town of Livange.

Greene Signals The Start Of A Revolution Return to Headlines
A luxury hotel room in central London with a techno wall, flat-screen television and aircraft-style mood lighting that costs a mere £70 a night? You'll need a lie-down on another feature of a Yotel room – the rotating double bed – on hearing news like that. Yotel's Managing Director Gerard Greene claims that such rooms will form part of the world's most revolutionary hotel concept. Judge for yourself by viewing a room prototype at the 100% Design show at Earls Court in London from 23 to 26 September. Further details are available online at www.100percentdesign.co.uk. click here

Expo Hoteles: A New Exhibit In Barcelona Return to Headlines
Expo Hoteles & Resort Group has added to its collection of hotels in its native Spain by opening the 272-room, four-star Gran Hotel Torre Catalunya in the city of Barcelona. The company's Portuguese counterpart Grupo Hoteleiro Fernando Barata, meanwhile, is taking its first trip to the Azores, where it will spend a reported €12 million on the construction of the 120-room, four-star Hotel Marina. The property, which forms part of a mixed-use development on the island of Terceira, is due to open in the fourth quarter of 2006.

Jurys Satisfied With Six Months Return to Headlines
Jurys Doyle Hotel Group was able to make light of the continued difficulties in trading experienced by its four-star hotels in Ireland thanks to the recovery in the hotel market in London and Washington, DC, and a very strong performance from the whole of its Jurys Inn portfolio. Although the four-star hotels in Ireland broadly maintained the occupancy of the previous year, a downturn in conference and incentive travel meant a fall in RevPAR of 3%. In contrast, the ten Jurys Inn properties in the UK saw their like-for-like RevPAR rise more than 8%. In the six months to 30 June 2004 Jurys Doyle saw group pre-tax profit rise 1.5% to €21.9 million and turnover grow by 9.1% to €134.9 million; the company expects a repeat performance over the second half of the year.

Rocco Forte Decides To Hold A 'Septemberfest' Instead Return to Headlines
The German city of Munich is the host for hotel number 15 in the Rocco Forte Hotels collection. An area presently occupied by Maximilian University will be redeveloped and turned into a mixed-use scheme of which the 160-room, five-star hotel will be a part. The property should be ready by spring 2007 and is costing €71.5 million to build. By 2007 the company should be familiar to German eyes anyway, as in 2006 it is due to open the Hotel de Rome in Berlin and the Villa Kennedy in Frankfurt.

Arthur Awoke And Found Heaven Was Salonika Return to Headlines
The Greek press reports on the imminent opening of the 50-room Avalon Hotel Thessaloniki, the first of three boutique hotels that Avalon Hotel & Tourism apparently wants to have open in the city of Salonika by 2007. Once the hotelier is finished there, the report continues, it will move on to Athens and other cities throughout Greece. On the other side of the Aegean, Turkish industrial concern Sonmez Holding is reportedly ready to invest some US$100 million over the next four years in a chain of at least five hotels in Turkey. According to the report, the company's tourism subsidiary Sonmez Turizm will for starters renovate the Turban holiday village in Marmaris; seek to purchase a hotel of between 350 and 400 rooms in Antalya; and build a hotel in Istanbul.

A New Hotel In Hampshire: Can Paxton Pull It Off? Return to Headlines
Future guests at a proposed 100-bed hotel in Lymington, Hampshire, should reasonably expect to find the duvets plump with feathers, and perhaps a complimentary packet of Paxo on the pillow: little touches to remind them that the development on which the hotel stands was once a chicken factory. Paxton Holdings has laid revised proposals for the scheme before New Forest District Council. Up in Manchester, meanwhile, local developer Millennium Estates will be hoping that the city council does not cry foul over its plans to develop a 75,000 ft² tower in place of the derelict Scottish Provident House. Millennium Estates would prefer the Chancery Place scheme to be occupied solely by offices, but would devote more than half of the space to an aparthotel if it could not find sufficient tenants to fill the offices.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 02/09/04-09/09/04

InterContinental Hotels Group - The company's interim pre-tax profit met with the expectations of most analysts. Merrill Lynch raised its target price from 625p to 675p per share.

Jurys Doyle Hotel Group - Investors were unimpressed by only a modest rise in the company's interim pre-tax profit.

Accor - Deutsche Bank kept a 'Hold' rating to reflect Accor's cautious outlook for France and the US budget market. These concerns were echoed by UBS, which kept its 'Buy 2' rating but lowered its forecast on full-year pre-tax profit to €579 million.