A new Hampton Hotel (a Hilton branded hotel) will open next spring in the city of Cluj after reconstruction work on the building began over the summer. The British developer Rembrook is carrying out the project, which will result in a hotel with 109 rooms, a fitness center, along with a bar and restaurant. It bought the Akros building for approximately €5m.
Warimpex reports a “clear stabilization” in the hotel industry over the first half of 2011, which saw its hotel revenues rise by 14 percent, with EBITDA increasing 43% to €9.4m. Its conslidated sales rose by 9% to €51.2m, but it finished the first six months €3.2m in the red “due to scheduled write-downs and lower earnings from property sales.” Along with the sale of 12.5% of Sobieski Hotel in Warsaw, it completed Airport City in St. Petersburg in the final quarter of last year.
Revenues from hotel operations improved by 14 per cent from EUR 42.6 million in the first six months of 2010 to EUR 48.4 million. This change was primarily the result of significantly higher revenues from the recently opened hotels in Ekaterinburg, Łódź, Katowice and Berlin, which have established themselves on the market and are now enjoying stable revenues.
Colliers International in Hungary reports that business trips have increased in the first half of 2011, with the number of guest night up by 3 percent compared to the same period in 2010. “Within this, hotels continued to perform above-average, with the number of guest nights rising by 7%. Four-star hotels performed particularly well, with growth exceeding 11%” – said Norbert Szircsák, researcher and valuation consultant at the real estate advisory firm.
The total nights spent by foreign visitors increased by 10 percent, a stat Colliers chalks up to the fact that Hungary held the rotating EU presidency role for that period. The average occupancy rate for hotels was 43%, with 5-star accommodations posting the best result (61%), followed by 4-star hotels (49%).
Total revenues of accommodation establishments increased by 6% at current prices, compared to the same period of 2010. Average room rates at three-to-five-star hotels in Budapest were between HUF 9,000 and HUF 31,000 in the January–June period.
Europa Fund II and Warimpex Finanz have sold the Jan III Sobieski Hotel in Warsaw, along with a 6,000 sqm sqm office building to the Norwegian-based investment company Wenaasgruppen. The sale price is being reported “in excess of €50m.” The transaction is Wenaasgruppen’s first hotel purchase in Poland.
“This sale takes place after the successful fulfilment of a five-year business plan. We have accomplished a substantial renovation of the hotel and, together with Warimpex and Vienna International Hotelmanagement AG, significantly improved the hotel performance during those five years,” commented Simon Hooper, Partner at Europa Capital.
Chinese workers (allegedly) build a 15-storey hotel in six days.
No word yet if it’s still standing, mind you…
Apollo Management has pounced on $2.8bn in property loans held by Credit Suisse for properties held in Germany, France, Denmark and Sweden. The private equity firm will pay just $1.2bn for its trouble. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the bank had already written off the loans, and could stand to profit from the deal, as it includes and equity stake in Apollo. The loans were for apartment buildings in Germany and hotels.
“We’re starting to see loans in the marketplace at more realistic prices,” said Paul Fuhrman, an executive at private-equity firm Colony Capital LLC, which has been buying distressed-loan portfolios. “We are definitely seeing the banks loosen up.”
Orco Property Group has filed a notice that could mark the first step in potential arbitration proceedings over its investment in the island resort of Suncani Hvar. It’s pointless to speculate which way this spat is going, though things don’t exactly look amicable at the moment. Orco revealed that the meeting last Monday between its CEO JF Ott and Croatian Privatization Fund officials last all of 20 minutes, ending about 24 hours before Ott was detained by police for questioning.
“Orco’s experience unfortunately is that the business environment in Croatia is deteriorating rather than improving,” said Marija Hrebac, Head of Orco’s activities in Croatia. “Rather than attempt to promote private investment, the State Privatization Fund has ignored Orco’s efforts to realize the potential of the Suncani Hvar development on the Croatian coast,” she said.
All in all, said Hrebac, they “are not signs of a Government that welcomes foreign investment.” Indeed.
Ott released a video statement late last week in reaction to the incident in Zagreb that you can watch here.