HVS EMEA Hospitality Enews - Week Ending 27 February 2009

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

Deka Buys The NH Frankfurt City

Deka Immobilien has made a purchase for its new open-ended fund WestInvest Target Select Hotel. That purchase is the four-star NH Frankfurt City, in Germany, which was secured for an undisclosed sum paid to a 50:50 joint venture formed by Quinlan Private and the developer of the 256-room hotel FOM Real Estate. Quinlan Private paid a reported €30 million for its half-share in the hotel back in July 2007. NH Hoteles' 25-year lease is unaffected by the deal.

Aprirose Raises Funds To Buy The Travelodge Tower Bridge

The investment firm Aprirose Real Estate has led a consortium of seven East African and three UK-based private investors in the purchase of the Travelodge London Tower Bridge. Aprirose and its confrères paid Lenta Properties a reported £25 million – a yield of 6% – for the 190-room hotel, which Travelodge has on a 35-year lease. The 69.3% senior debt funding was provided by an unnamed British bank.

Le Bristol To Be Fashioned In Abu Dhabi

National Corporation for Tourism & Hotels is to invest a minimum of a reported Dh600 million (US$163 million) in the construction of a five-star hotel in the Al Bateen region of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The 250-room hotel is to be called Hotel Le Bristol Abu Dhabi; so it will come as no surprise to learned hospitality folk that the Hotel Le Bristol Abu Dhabi is to be managed by the Oetker Hotel Collection: the name echoes Hotel Le Bristol Paris, one of Oetker’s five luxurious hotels in Europe. Hotel Le Bristol Abu Dhabi is set to open in 2012.

Swiss Swoop On Sousse

Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts has signed an agreement to manage the Mövenpick Resort & Thalasso Sousse, which is set to open this July in the resort of Sousse in eastern Tunisia. The resort, Mövenpick’s second in Tunisia, has 588 rooms and 39 suites and has been developed by Compagnie Tunisienne de Développement Touristique.

Hyatt Regency Set To Open In Dushanbe

On 1 March 2006 work began officially on the construction of what was hailed at the time as the first five-star hotel in Dushanbe, the capital of the republic of Tajikistan. On 1 March 2009 that hotel – the Hyatt Regency Dushanbe – will throw open its doors to the public. The 202-room hotel, on which Hyatt International collaborated with Russian Hotels, absorbed an investment of a reported US$140 million.

The Langham Sets Its Alarm Clock For April

What a joy it is of a morning to look out of the window here at HVS London and observe beauty awakening. And if I shift the focus of my binoculars to my right I get two eyefuls of another “beauty awakening”: The Langham. The luxurious hotel, the flagship of Langham Hotels International, will reopen, softly, not a hair out of place, this April after a two-year renovation that has cost £80 million. Wide-eyed guests will see that the number of guest rooms has been lowered from 425 to 382 (though the rooms are now larger) and they can admire the new meeting rooms, the refreshed Palm Court Restaurant and the restored Grand Ballroom.

Kiessling's Corner

Reig Capital Group recently confirmed an agreement with Marriott International to establish the first Edition hotel in Barcelona, which is to be a five-star property and located in a building previously occupied by Winterthur on Plaza Francesc Macia. Reig Group is going to invest approximately €140 million in the new development, which is going to be the Edition brand’s first hotel outside the USA. Elsewhere in Barcelona, Eurostars is going to increase its presence in the city by opening the Eurostars Lex, a four-star hotel featuring 46 rooms located next to the area of L’Hospitalet, close to the fair area Fira 2. Eurostars already has nine hotels in Barcelona. By Gabriele Kiessling, Analyst, HVS Madrid

Accor Hits Its Target On Full-Year Profit

Accor has hit the target it set itself on full-year operating profit and has armoured itself with a “battle plan” to give some protection against stray arrows from the outrageous fortunes of the global economy. Pre-tax operating profit for 2008 was €875 million, a like-for-like increase on the previous year’s comparable of 6.8%. Accor’s battle plan is in essence an exercise in cost-cutting: €125 million snipped from the money set aside for renovation work in 2009, and the budget for expansion reduced from €500 million to €400 million a year from 2011 onwards. Reduction in numbers is very much the order of the day in the Accor boardroom too: why have two nameplates when the titles chief executive and chairman can be written together on just one? The man holding the additional title of chairman is Gilles Pélisson.

Sol Meliá: Out Of The Strength Comes Forth Confidence

The global economic downturn and its consequent effect on consumer spending had their inevitable impact on the results announced by Sol Meliá for the full-year 2008. The company saw its net profit dive 68.4%, to €51.2 million, and revenue fall by 5.3% to finish on approximately €1.2 billion. Marketwide RevPAR was also down, by 3.2%. And though Sol Meliá foresees “a difficult first half of 2009, particularly in business travel”, the company is confident that it will overcome the crisis. This confidence comes, as Sol Meliá puts it, "from strength": the competitive advantages that the company has been creating for itself in recent years.

Absolute Share Price Performance Over the Past Week 19-26 February 2009

InterContinental Hotels Group - Jefferies International stated that the company "should continue to deliver RevPAR outperformance". Jefferies consequently raised its rating to 'Buy' and gave a target price of 525p.

Accor - Jefferies International retained a 'Buy' rating but cut its target price from €42 to €40.

NH Hoteles - At the end of last week Banesto lowered its target price from €6.50 to €3.30 and retained its 'Sell' rating.

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 Director rkett@hvs.com
Charles Human, Managing Director – HVS HWE chuman@hvshwe.com
Tim Smith, Director tsmith@hvs.com
Demetris Spanos, Managing Director – HVS Athens dspanos@hvs.com
Hala Matar Choufany, Managing Director – HVS Dubai hchoufany@hvs.com
Christopher Mumford, Managing Director – Executive Search cmumford@hvs.com
Philip Bacon, Managing Director – HVS Madrid and Managing Director, EMEA & Asia – HVS Shared Ownership Services pbacon@hvs.com
Adrian Jones, EMEA Hospitality Enews Author ajones@hvs.com