Essential news from around the world…
Conrad to open 50 new hotels in the next five years
Conrad Hotels has appointed Dieter Huckestein as chairman and chief executive officer to drive its plans to add 50 new properties to its 17-strong portfolio of luxury hotels by 2010. Conrad Hotels is a joint venture between Hilton Hotels Corporation (HHC) in the USA and UK-based Hilton International. Huckestein was executive vice-president and president at HHC for owned and managed hotels.
Fairmont slashes fourth-quarter losses
North American hotel operator Fairmont Hotels and Resorts slashed its fourth-quarter losses in 2004 to $4m (£2.2m) from $13.5m (£7.3m) in 2003, while earnings before tax, income, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) more than doubled from $10m (£5.4m) to $21m (£11m). The group, which manages 83 luxury properties, forecasts a 25% boost to ebitda in 2005.
Accor is Europe’s largest hotel group
Accor held on to its ranking as Europe’s largest hotel company last year, according to France-based MKG Consulting. The other contenders, in descending order, were Best Western, InterContinental Hotel Group, Louvre Hotels, Hilton International, Sol Melia, Tui, Choice, Marriott International and NH Hoteles.
Carlson adds 87 new hotels in 2004
Carlson Hotels Worldwide opened 87 new properties last year – 45 of them in the USA. The openings were across its portfolio of five brands: Regent International, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels and Resorts, Country Inns and Suites and Park Inn. It ended the year with 890 properties in 70 countries and increased overall sales by 13.3% to $5.1b (£2.75b).
Banyan Tree Group plans major expansion into the Middle East
Banyan Tree Group, the Singapore-based boutique resort and spa operator, has announced plans to open more than 10 properties in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Egypt and Morocco over the next few years under the Banyan Tree and Angsana Spa and Health Club brands.
Starwood predicts continued growth in 2005
Starwood Hotels and Resorts, whose brands include Sheraton, W Hotels, St Regis/Luxury Collection, and Westin, boosted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation by 20.7% in the last quarter of 2004 to $327m (£176m). Turnover increased to $1.44b (£775m) from $1.2b (£646m).
Accor to manage only hotel at new Bangkok airport
French hotel giant Accor has won the contract to manage the only hotel to be built at Bangkok’s new Suvarnabhumi International Airport, which opens this September. The $70m (£38m) hotel development will feature 600 bedrooms in two five-storey buildings joined by a vast glass atrium covering 2,800sq m.
Marriott shares fall as 2005 forecasts fall below expectations
Marriott International, which operates more than 2,600 hotels and timeshare resorts in 66 countries, boosted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation by 21% in 2004 to $1.1b (£590m). Revenues climbed by 12% to $10b (£5.4b). During the year it opened 166 new hotels and resorts with 27,000 bedrooms. However, the group’s share price fell as it forecast 2005 earnings per share of between $2.73 (£1.47) and $2.83 (£1.52), which fell short of the $2.84 (£1.53) expected by the US stock market.
by Angela Frewin
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