HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 31 August 2007

The latest hospitality news from Europe, the Middle East and Africa

Barceló Bounds Into Britain

Dawnay Shore Hotels (DSH) has broken from the huddle it went into back in November to announce that the result of its strategic review is an invitation to Spanish firm Barceló Corporación Empresarial to enter the UK and take over the leasing and management of the Paramount Hotels portfolio. The deal on the 20 properties will allow DSH to expand its portfolio; in effect, DSH becomes a pure hotel investment company. Barceló, which has more than 130 hotels worldwide, will take an initial 35-year lease on the properties.

Thistle Do Nicely For Menzies

Menzies Hotels has paid Curzon Hotel Properties a reported £54 million for eight Thistle hotels (a total of 978 rooms). Six of the properties are in England – in Birmingham, Luton, Swindon, Stevenage, Manchester and at Gatwick airport – and two in Scotland: in Irvine and at Aberdeen airport. All eight have taken the Menzies name. Menzies Hotels will spend a reported £12 million on refurbishing the newcomers, which bring the company’s portfolio in the UK to 23.

Enter The Tinja

Emaar Morocco, a subsidiary of Emaar Properties, landed on its feet last year when it signed a US$5.34 billion memorandum of understanding with the Moroccan government to develop mixed-use projects in Morocco. One of these projects, for which Emaar Morocco has now finalised the master plan, is the Tinja resort near the northern port of Tangier. The 300-hectare development will include a mix of hotels, retail outlets, a beach club and 2,500 residences.

So, IFA, It's True What They Say About Your Big Five

“Be careful, it’s a jungle out there,” were perhaps the cautionary parting words spoken to IFA Hotels & Resorts as it ventured out of Kuwait to find a way into the wildlife hospitality market. The company found what it was seeking in the Limpopo province of South Africa: the Legend Golf & Safari Resort. IFA has taken a 50% stake in the joint venture company formed to acquire the resort, which is part of the 22,000-hectare Big Five Entabeni Safari Conservancy.

Golden Tulip's Gone To Ghana

As the Ghana Libyan Arab Holding Company (Glahco) has discovered, consume your first Golden Tulip in Ghana and 15 years later you find yourself fancying another one. Glahco, whose hotel subsidiary owns the Golden Tulip Accra, will have its hunger sated this December when the Golden Tulip Kumasi City opens in the southern city of Kumasi. The 160-room hotel will be fully operated by Golden Tulip Hospitality Management.

Ottoman Fund Brings Banyan To Turkey

The Ottoman Fund, which invests in the development of housing and holiday homes in Turkey, has chosen Banyan Tree Hotels and Resorts, of Singapore, to be the manager of a spa resort to be built on a site of some 185,000 m² in the coastal town of Göltürkbükü on the Bodrum peninsula. The Ottoman Fund paid US$38.6 million for the site on which the residences, poolside villas and spa are to be built.

Another Park Inn For Sweden

Rezidor Hotel Group has decreed that the southern city of Malmö will be the location for what is to be the sixteenth Park Inn hotel in Sweden. The 220-room property, to be built by Midroc Property Development, will open in the first quarter of 2010. Across the border in Finland Hilton Hotels Corporation has opened its third property in the capital Helsinki. The €40 million 246-room Hilton Helsinki-Vantaa Airport is the first upscale hotel at the airport.

Cummings And Goings

The Cummings family is reported to have sold Amberley Castle to von Essen Hotels for around £12 million. The 19-room country castle hotel, which is near Arundel, in West Sussex, becomes von Essen’s twenty-fifth hotel in the UK. Meanwhile, Peel Hotels expects to complete the sale of the Avon Gorge Hotel on 3 September. Alias Hotels is to pay a total of £15.5 million for the 76-room property in Bristol and an associated staff house. And QHotels has paid Frankonia Hotels an undisclosed sum for the 102-room, four-star Stratford Victoria, which resides in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon.

Accor Reports Its Interim Figures

A new, €500 million buy-back programme and the revival of the upscale Pullman brand jostle for prominence with the usual financial figures in Accor’s report on the six months to 30 June 2007. Pre-tax operating profit will not be easily elbowed aside, though, coming in as it did 31.5% (like for like) up on the previous year’s comparable, at €379 million. A plump revenue of €4.0 billion, 6.1% up like for like, is nobody’s pushover. The Pullman brand must speak, however, and it will become increasingly voluble over the next eight years. By 2015 Accor plans to have 250 hotels with the brand worldwide, with the properties secured on management or franchise agreements. The company will begin by rebranding a selection of 45 hotels that presently fly either the Sofitel or the Grand Mercure flag.

Whitbread With A Trading Update

Whitbread was healthy at 13 weeks into its new financial year and after one scan of the like-for-like sales figures at 24 weeks (to 16 August 2007) shareholders will be exclaiming maternally, “My, haven’t those percentages grown.” The biggest growth was the 11.0% rise posted by every Whitbread shareholder’s blue-eyed boy: Premier Travel Inn. Costa coffee was in the pink, returning an increase of 7.2%. While shareholders wait for the interim figures to be delivered on 16 October, they can gurgle with delight at the company’s plans to return just over £300 million through a buy-back programme.

Kingdom's First-Half Results

Kingdom Hotel Investments has reported its results for the six months to 30 June 2007. Among the highlights are an increase of 74% in total revenue, to US$74.3 million; an increase of 63% in hotel revenue, to US$66.5 million; and hotel EBITDA of US$19.2 million, slightly more than double the previous year’s comparable figure.

Hotel Finance and Investment Summit Now Only Days Away

This is the final call for the Hotel Finance and Investment Summit. Don’t get left behind. Make your way to www.euromoneyseminars.com click here and make sure you book your seat for the two-day journey starting on 6 September at Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill. Among the many first class speakers, laptops on their knee, are Russell Kett, the managing director of HVS’s London office, who will be moderating the keynote panel session on "Who is buying hotel risk?", and Dominique Bourdais, a director in the same office, who will be looking at “Tapping opportunities in Croatia and hot Eastern European markets”.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 23-30 August 2007

Accor - The share price climbed on the strength of the company's interim figures.

Whitbread - ABN Amro reiterated its 'Buy' rating and raised its target price from 2,175p to 2,210p.

InterContinental Hotels Group - The share price fell as last week's takeover rumours faded.

For the latest in the hospitality industry, please visit: http://www.hvs.com. You are also welcome to contact the following personnel.

Russell Kett, Managing Directorrkett@hvs.com
Charles Human, Managing Dir., HVS HWEchuman@hvshwe.com
Dominique Bourdais, Directordbourdais@hvs.com
Bernard Forster, Directorbforster@hvs.com
Karen Smith, Directorksmith@hvs.com
Marc Finney, Directormfinney@hvs.com
Christopher Mumford, Managing Dir., Executive Searchcmumford@hvs.com
Philip Bacon, Managing Dir. EMEA & Asia, HVS Shared Ownership Servicespbacon@hvs.com
Adrian Jones, EMEA Hospitality Enews Authorajones@hvs.com