Hotel Online  Special Report


 On the Rebound - European Hotel Profits
Bounce Back in 2004


July 2005 - After three consecutive years of declining profitability, the European hotel industry has started to recover lost ground. According to the Annual Profitability HotelBenchmark Survey by Deloitte hotels across Continental Europe reported 7% growth in profit per available room in 2004. On average hotels generated an additional €1,000 profit per available room in 2004 to reach €15,000 per available room. This compares to €14,000 in 2003.

Some of the strongest performing markets were in Germany, where the biennial trade fair cycle helped boost performance. Profits in Düsseldorf rose a staggering 76% mainly as a result of a €7,000 increase in total revenue. With costs kept under control all this incremental revenue fell to the bottom line resulting in profit per available room increasing from €8,000 in 2003 to €14,000 in 2004. Stuttgart was another star performer with profits up 17% compared to the prior year.

During 2004 Eastern European markets were the region's star performers with many cities reporting double-digit revenue per available room growth. This translated into strong profit growth with hotels in Prague and Budapest experiencing profit increases of 20% and 19% respectively.

Moscow took the top spot when it came to converting revenue to profit. Of the 23 cities tracked by the European Profitability Survey, Moscow's conversion rate was 53% compared to just 22% in Brussels. Moscow also achieved the highest profitability level at just under €39,000, representing a 31% increase over the prior year. Whilst Moscow is dominated by luxury and upscale hotels leading to higher absolute profits per available room, operating costs remain relatively low. Furthermore, the potential arbitrage that exists between receiving revenues in US Dollars and paying local expenses in Russian Roubles also offers an opportunity to bolster operating profits.

The only Eastern European market where performance faltered was Warsaw. Profits for the year were down 6% as the city continued to suffer from over-supply in the first-class and luxury segments. Supply growth has resulted in occupancy failing to break the 60% level, while intense competition has placed pressure on average room rates. Over-supply has also dented operating profits in Madrid, where a 12% decline was reported. However, Milan took the top spot as the worst performing market across Continental Europe in 2004 with profits down 13%.

Julia Felton, Executive Director of HotelBenchmark at Deloitte said: "The profitability figures for Continental Europe are very encouraging and highlight the diversity that exists within the European hotel market. From an operator perspective, top-line revenue growth bodes well for base management fees, whilst the conversion of revenues to profit should also be positive for incentive management fees."

"As a result, we anticipate continued interest in Europe from an investment and management perspective. Mature, stable markets continue to offer reduced risk whilst areas such as Eastern Europe offer potentially greater rewards".

The HotelBenchmark Survey contains the largest independent source of hotel performance data outside of North America and tracks the performance of over 6,500 hotels and 1.2 million rooms every month. Monthly surveys are produced on the following areas:

About Deloitte

In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte & Touche LLP.

Deloitte & Touche LLP is the UK's fastest growing major professional services firm based in 21 UK locations, with over 10,000 staff nationwide and fee income of £1,246 million in 2003/2004. It is a member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, a leading professional services organisation, delivering world class audit, tax, consulting and corporate finance services, with around 120,000 people in over 140 countries. Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu is a Swiss Verein, and each of its national practices is a separate and independent legal entity.

Tina Wanstall
+44 (0) 20 7007 0981
Also See: Hotel Performance in India is Booming; For the 12-months to February 2005, RevPAR in Mid-market and Above Hotels Throughout India Increased by 29% / April 2005
In Terms of RevPAR, Venice Best Perfoming Market in 2004 - HotelBenchmark Global Ranking Index by Deloitte / April 2005

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