Featured in this EMEA Hospitality Newsletter - Week Ending 4 March 2005
And There Goes Coulthard
Premier Travel Inn Leads After 50 Weeks
Estonia Wins Raffles
Three More Jurys Inns Proposed In The UK
HVS International Astir In Greece
IHG Sells The Crowne Plaza Amsterdam-American
To Make A Hotel In Budapest, First Take One Listed Building
Sol Meliá Reports On 2004
Hotel Happening Up At Mill In Manchester
Look Up And See Accor In The Middle East
Save More With NH Hoteles

And There Goes Coulthard
A Scottish newspaper has spotted Formula One racing driver David Coulthard at what is regarded as the birthplace of British motor sport: the Brooklands circuit, in Weybridge, Surrey. Not much of a story there, you might think, until you see Coulthard's business partner Ken McCulloch lurking in the pit lane. Then, as you might reasonably expect, the next thing round the corner could well be a hotel that the pair are noted for. The paper suggests that the duo are to team up with DaimlerChrysler UK (DCUK) to open a £20 million 109-room Columbus hotel as part of a development covering some 155 acres at the circuit. The car company already had a hotel planned as part of a project that has as its main feature DCUK's Heritage and Technology Centre.

Premier Travel Inn Leads After 50 Weeks Return to Headlines
No wonder the crescent moon is smiling; its face is a reflection of the joy Travel Inn must be feeling at present. The chain's union with Premier Lodge has been wholly successful (completed on time and to budget) and Travel Inn has topped the sales growth chart in Whitbread's latest trading statement. In the 50 weeks to 17 February 2005, the hotels – listed under their married name of Premier Travel Inn, though the figures exclude former Premier Lodge hotels – recorded sales growth of 6.7%. Whitbread's portfolio of Marriott hotels posted a rise of 3.9%, despite a closing quarter affected by the weakness of the US dollar and the retarding effect this had on the number of North American visitors. Total group sales for the 50 weeks were 7.7% ahead of the comparable period a year ago. Chief Executive Alan Parker looked forward to reporting a satisfactory set of results on 26 April.

Estonia Wins Raffles Return to Headlines
An agreement signed between Raffles Holdings' Estonian subsidiary Osaühing Evans Kinnisvara and Tornimäe Hotel has paved the way for Raffles International's entrance into Estonia. The 239-room Swissôtel Tallinn Estonia is due to open in early 2007. Raffles expects to be in Moscow later this year when it opens the 235-room Swissôtel Krasnye Holmy, and the Russian capital is preparing by familiarising itself with the sound of scissors on grindstone. The blades are on this occasion being honed ready for the impending ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Holiday Inn Moscow – Lesnaya. The Russian construction firm Mospromstroy owns the 301-room property, which will be managed under franchise by one of its subsidiaries.

Three More Jurys Inns Proposed In The UK Return to Headlines
Jurys Doyle Hotel Group noted that its good performance in the year to 31 December 2004 was made possible thanks in large part to 'a much improved trading environment' in London and Washington. The three Jurys hotels in London saw RevPAR grow 12%, while for their three American cousins the figure was 19%. The company recorded a 7.2% rise in pre-tax profit (before hotel disposals), to €45.3 million, and a 12.1% increase in turnover, to €284.5 million. The Jurys Inn portfolio proved solid as ever, with the 11 UK members posting a 5% rise in like-for-like RevPAR. Such solidity deserves its reward and Jurys Doyle, true to its policy of expanding this portfolio, announced plans for another three Jurys Inn hotels in the UK. So step forward the following towns and cities when your name is called. Milton Keynes: a 279-room property for you in summer 2006. Brighton: look to your New England Quarter and you will see a 262-room hotel open on the mixed-use development there by the second half of 2006. Liverpool: your Jurys Inn will arrive, if all necessary consents and agreements are finalised, at the Kings Waterfront in late 2007 with 280 rooms.

HVS International Astir In Greece Return to Headlines
HVS International has been appointed as hotel consultants to examine the operation and productivity of Astir Palace Vouliagmenis, which is a subsidiary of the National Bank of Greece, and to provide advice on alternative management options and strategic advice for its hotels; the aim is to maximise the company's performance and development. Bank of America has been appointed as financial advisor to Astir Palace Vouliagmenis.

IHG Sells The Crowne Plaza Amsterdam-American Return to Headlines
Those who keep a record of such things might like to note that InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) has sold (or has agreed to sell) 48 hotels since it came into being following the division of Six Continents in April 2003. Line number 48 in the ledger has been claimed by the Crowne Plaza Hotel Amsterdam-American in the Netherlands. The Eden Hotel Group paid the net book value (€37 million) for the 174-room property and in so doing the Dutch firm takes to five the number of properties it has in Amsterdam. IHG will use the proceeds for general corporate purposes.

To Make A Hotel In Budapest, First Take One Listed Building Return to Headlines
First AB, a new and wholly owned subsidiary of Abraxus Investments, will be pleased to have fulfilled its purpose: the acquisition, for £1.13 million, of the freehold interest in a listed building in the Hungarian capital Budapest. Abraxus aims to spend at least another £6 million converting the property at Podmaniczky u. 45 on the Pest side of the city into a hotel with between 80 and 100 rooms. Meanwhile, shipping company Atlanska Plovidba is reported to have joined forces with construction firm Ingra to make a purchase of its own – this one in Croatia. The duo are said to have paid the Croatian Privatisation Fund US$4 million for an 80.31% stake in the three-star Hotel Lapad, which stands in the city of Dubrovnik. Reports note that the new owners will be obliged to spend an additional US$3.5 million on the 194-room hotel by 2010.

Sol Meliá Reports On 2004 Return to Headlines
Sol Meliá said it was moderately optimistic about 2005 as it posted its results for the full year 2004. Properties in the Caribbean and city hotels in European countries other than Spain took some of the credit as the Spanish firm saw EBITDA rise 4.9%, to €233.1 million, and turnover increase by 5.1%, to €1.0 billion. Marketwide RevPAR edged up by 0.5% to finish on €44.8.

Hotel Happening Up At Mill In Manchester Return to Headlines
A report in the local press in Manchester notes that the Yeung brothers have plans to open a £7 million hotel near their Yang Sing restaurant in the city. They have acquired a Grade II listed cotton mill, which, if all goes to plan, should open as the 48-room boutique-style Yang Sing Oriental within the next 18 months. Across the Pennines, in North Yorkshire, the words 'Grade II listed' appealed to hotelier John Furnish, who is reported to have paid an undisclosed sum for the Solberge Hall Hotel in Northallerton. Formerly part of the Best Western portfolio, the property will now be independently operated, and Mr Furnish has secured funding from Bank of Scotland Corporate for proposed extension work.

Look Up And See Accor In The Middle East Return to Headlines
As the builders are perhaps muttering to themselves, '14 floors done, another 20 to go'. The counting is going on in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca at the Zam Zam Tower, which will be home to the 1,240 luxury suites of the Zam Zam Sofitel Grand Suites when the hotel opens in 2006. Accor representatives touring the Middle East will be hoping to avoid neck problems as there is a 17-storey property to view next, in Bahrain. The 120-suite, four-star Mercure Grand Hotel Seef on the outskirts of the capital Manama gives Bahrain its first look at the Mercure brand.

Save More With NH Hoteles Return to Headlines
RevPAR at comparable hotels? Steady, as it goes. Marketwide occupancy? Ahead 4.3%. The good ship NH Hoteles reached these figures for the full year 2004 with its sales set at an elevation of 2.8%, at €953.8 million. The log will also note that EBITDA rose by 15.9%, to €180.0 million, and will record the ripple of pleasant surprise at journey's end when it was realised that cost savings of €38 million made during the course of the year were 30% higher than expected. The NH Central Convenciones can make a contribution to the 2005 figures. NH Hoteles will operate the 252-room hotel, which boasts the largest convention centre in Seville, under a management agreement for the first three years before switching to a lease. Take care not to scuff the furniture too much; after all, it cost the company €3 million.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 24/02/05-03/03/05

Accor - UBS's forecasts for pre-tax profit ahead of Accor's full-year results next week are in line with the company's own. UBS retains a 'Neutral 2' rating.

NH Hoteles - Goldman Sachs lowered its profit per share and maintained its 'Underweight' rating.

Hilton Group - The shares were lower on market worries about Ladbrokes' rival William Hill.