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Tue 18th Dec 2018 - Update: UKHospitality's sustainability warning, Easyhotel, Dalata
UKHospitality – vital sustainability measures must be affordable to achieve success: New measures to promote sustainability and cut waste must be proportionate and affordable, UKHospitality has said. Following the government’s announcement of a strategy to cut waste and promote sustainability, the trade body has highlighted ongoing efforts by the sector and warned against piling costs on businesses that may undermine existing work. Chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “The hospitality sector shares the concerns of the government and the public regarding sustainability. Our businesses understand there is a need to address issues such as single-use plastics and food waste and they are already hard at work. Many outlets have already undertaken measures to cut waste voluntarily and UKHospitality, along with the British Institute of Innkeeping has been leading efforts to promote best practice across hospitality. We are supportive of new measures to promote sustainability and tackle waste, but they must be affordable and proportionate. New measures are going to hit businesses at a tough time when costs are increasing and consumer confidence is low. Any new scheme, particularly the deposit return scheme, must be workable and avoid piling further financial pressure on businesses."

Easyhotel outlines European ambitions as it submits plans for first French site: Easyhotel, the owner, developer and operator of super budget branded hotels, has outlined its European ambitions as it submitted plans for a 209-bedroom hotel, close to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport – its first site in France. Easyhotel has signed an exclusive letter of intent with Groupe ADP, owner and operator of the three main airports in the Paris region and operator of a network of 26 airports worldwide, for an operating lease agreement for the hotel. The final agreement is subject to planning permission being granted and full legal documentation being agreed. The new-build hotel, to be developed by Linkcity, is anticipated to open in the 2020/21 financial year. Easyhotel chief executive Guy Parsons said: "I am delighted by the progress we have made to develop our first site in France. Paris is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, attracting circa 33.8 million foreign visitors a year, and the hotel will be a valuable addition to our portfolio. Following the recent opening of our 204-bedroom hotel in Barcelona this project is early testament to our growing ambitions for the brand in continental Europe. We see a number of attractive opportunities, particularly in France, Germany and Spain where the board believes there is potential for the brand to target ten to 15 cities in each of these countries and we look forward to announcing further opportunities in due course."

Dalata reports UK hotel revpar up 3.2%, updates on pipeline: Irish hotel operator Dalata has reported revpar at its UK hotels grew 3.2% for the 11 months to 30 November 2018 and updated on its development pipeline. The company said overall trading in the final four months of the year has been as expected and Ebitda for the year ending 31 December 2018 will be in line with market expectations. It stated: “The Dublin market remained very strong in the second half of the year. On a like-for like-basis, revpar at our hotels grew by 8.8% for the 11 months to the end of November. Like-for-like growth excludes hotels opened in 2018, the Tara Towers hotel which closed in September 2018 and hotels to which significant extensions were added. Our regional Ireland portfolio also performed very well achieving a revpar increase of 5.3% for the 11 months to the end of November. Revpar at our UK hotels grew by 3.2% for the 11-month period. Our UK regional hotels performed particularly well where we have outperformed the market in each city other than Leeds where we are marginally behind. The final quarter of 2018 has been a busy time for Dalata with the opening of three new hotels. Clayton Hotel Charlemont in Dublin opened on 23 November, Maldron Hotel Newcastle opened on 4 December and the extension at Maldron Hotel Parnell Square, Dublin has been substantially completed. Maldron Hotel South Mall in Cork will open later this week. We continue to make good progress on our development pipeline of more than 2,100 rooms across the UK and Ireland: We are very close to completing the acquisition of Clayton Hotel City of London. This hotel is scheduled to open towards the end of January 2019. Demolition work at the Clayton Hotel Manchester site is almost complete with construction starting in the first quarter of 2019. Construction of Maldron Hotel Merrion Road, Dublin and the residential units will commence in the first quarter of 2019. Planning permission has been received for Clayton Hotel Glasgow with construction expected to start in the first quarter of 2019. Formal planning applications have been lodged for Maldron Hotel Glasgow, Clayton Hotel Bristol and Maldron Hotel Birmingham. A formal planning application for Maldron Hotel Manchester is expected to be submitted in the first quarter of 2019. As announced on 5 November, Dalata agreed a new €525m debt facility, comprising a multi-currency term loan facility of €200m and a multi-currency revolving credit facility of €325m, with a five-year term expiring in October 2023. These new facilities will help support the continued growth of the business, reduce financing costs as well as extending the maturity of our debt. The group's weighted average cost of debt is expected to be in the range of 2.6% to 2.9% for 2019.” Dermot Crowley, deputy chief executive – business development and finance, said: "2018 was earmarked as a year in which we would complete a substantial number of rooms and I am delighted we have delivered these projects on time and within budget. We have opened two new hotels in Dublin and a new hotel in each of Belfast and Newcastle. We will open Maldron Hotel South Mall in Cork later this week. Early trading indications are very positive. As an example, Maldron Hotel Kevin Street in Dublin opened in July and achieved occupancy levels of more than 90% in each of September and October. We also completed significant extensions at three of our Dublin hotels and one of our Galway hotels. We look forward to the opening of our new Clayton Hotel City of London in January 2019. We note the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the final outcome of Brexit. To date, we have seen no negative impact on trading in any of our hotels in the UK or Ireland. We did deem it prudent to complete our refinancing package earlier than originally planned and are now happy to have debt funding in place until at least late 2023, on improved terms. The positive trading impact of hotels opened during 2018 will be significant on a full year basis in 2019 which in turn will reduce our net debt to Ebitda ratio as we go through next year."

Propel launches Leadership Summit, open for bookings: Propel is launching the Leadership Summit, which will see a select group of the sector’s most experienced bosses share their expertise on leadership. The full-day event, in partnership with Elliotts, will take place on Tuesday, 12 February at One Moorgate Place and is open for bookings. Speakers will include Will Stratton-Morris, chief executive of Caffe Nero, who will talk about building high-performance teams. Alasdair Murdoch, chief executive of Burger King, speaks about the role of leadership in business turnarounds. Elliotts chief executive Ann Elliott will talk to Des Gunewardena, chief executive of D&D London, about the lessons of leadership he has picked up in his career in the sector. Duncan Garrood, chief executive of Ten Entertainment, will give his views on leadership and the customer experience, while Jo Fleet, managing director of Flat Iron, will talk about empowering people and trust and getting the team to “buy in” through clear communication and vision. Mark Jones, chief executive of Carluccio’s, will explain how the company is building the quality and skillsets of its general managers to lead the business out of decline. Simon Townsend, chief executive of Ei Group, will give his views on the challenges of leadership during a period of immense change and Zoe Bowley, managing director of PizzaExpress, will give her top ten tips on leadership. Meanwhile, Loungers founder Alex Reilley will talk about the adaptations involved in growing a business from one site to more than 100, celebrating success and the art of succession, while Ann Elliott will give her views on the power of mentoring to grow talent in organisations. Propel managing director Paul Charity said: “With the industry facing such challenging times, effective leadership has never been more important. This is an unmissable opportunity to learn from high-profile leaders in our sector.” Prices are £295 plus VAT for Premium members, £345 plus VAT for operators and £445 plus VAT for suppliers. To book, email anne.steele@propelinfo.com

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