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Sat 12th Oct 2013 - Breaking News - Beds and Bars names new MD
Murray Roberts becomes managing director of Beds and Bars: Murray Roberts has been promoted to managing director of pan-European hostel provider Beds and Bars. He will be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the business, reporting to founder and chief executive Keith Knowles. Meanwhile, Duncan Robertson has been promoted to group sales and marketing director. Knowles said: “I will focus on being an ambassador for the company, finding new opportunities, both people and sites, and overseeing the future strategy of the business. The company is moving into a different phase of its journey.” Last week, occupancy levels across the company’s estate hit 90%, helped by the company’s current level of 3,300,000 website visitors per annum and 350,000 subscribers to its newsletters. Beds and Bars currently offers a total of 3,875 hostel beds across the estate with around two-thirds of these at European sites. It is understood that the company is also in the process of strengthening its non-executive directors. The company held its annual conference last week. Knowles said: “It was, without question, the best conference we have ever had. We had brand expert Howard Saunders with us as the key speaker. He talked about brands and the ways we may wish to improve our brand identities, and used such examples as Ace Hotel, Citizen M. For me the key resonant statement was: ‘show some love’.” In August, Beds and Bars opened a 38 million Euros 592-bed hostel at the Gare du Nord in Paris – last week the site enjoyed 99.7% occupancy. Knowles added: “We have a total of 1,000 beds in Paris now. The digital media team we have is simply the best in the business. The product development and delivery are amazing – and not a single zero hours contract to be seen. I am very proud to have the company I have and of the people in it.” In September, company web and mobile sites were +60% up in traffic terms compared to last year. Beds and Bars financial year is 27% up in sales terms on the previous year thanks to a stronger UK market, the increase in beds in Paris and its propriety booking engine. The news of internal promotions at Beds and Bars comes in the same week as Propel revealed that group operations director Eddy Passey is to join the board of Red Hot World Buffet after an approach from interim chief executive James Horler.

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