RIU to Invest €2.5bn in New Hotels & Refurbishments Between Now & 2022

16 January 2018 – Expansión

RIU will spend €650 million this year on the refurbishment, construction and purchase of hotels, and will make investments of €2.5 billion in total between now and 2022, according to explanations provided yesterday by the group’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Pepe Moreno.

In this way, the Mallorcan chain is accelerating the rate of investment seen over the last five years, in which it committed to undertake investments amounting to €1.95 billion. Specifically, the company reached a record last year with investment of €600 million, which was €200 million more than forecast at the beginning of the year.

During 2017, RIU opened two new hotels – the RIU Dunamar in Costa Mujeres (México) and the expansion of the RIU República de Punta Cana– and it refurbished five hotels in their entirety. Moreover, in June, it purchased Edificio España from Grupo Baraka for €272 million.

RIU recorded revenues of €2.156 billion in 2017, up by 7%, and closed last year with 92 hotels, 43,135 rooms and 28,894 employees.

In 2018, the chain plans to open four hotels and undertake five major refurbishment projects.

In terms of the focus for growth, RIU wants to continue strengthening its urban business, which it inaugurated in 2010 with a hotel in Panama, and which nowadays includes six operational hotels. Moreno said that the company will continue to analyse opportunities in the main cities of North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

The RIU urban brand has two new projects underway: the first urban hotel in Spain, located in Edificio España (Madrid), which is expected to open its doors at the beginning of next summer (2019) and its second hotel in New York, on which work is underway, very close to Times Square, which will also be inaugurated in 2019.

In addition, the chain wants to grow in Asia, where it already has two projects under construction, in the Maldives and Dubai.

Moreno said that RIU will continue to bet on growing its owned hotels – the firm currently owns 84% of the hotels in its portfolio – and he said that the chain is not interested in growing inorganically or debuting on the stock market.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Stoneweg Will Construct 2,000 Homes During 2017

22 May 2017 – El Mundo

(…) In line with the strong performance of the Spanish economy and, more specifically, the residential market, the real estate investment platform Stoneweg, a company that manages funds on behalf of institutional investors and family offices in Europe and Latin America, has just made its official presentation, confirming that it has €750 million to invest in property development in Spain during 2017.

Although headquartered in Switzerland, the company was founded in 2015 by two Spaniards, Jaume Sabater and Joaquín Castellví, who both previously worked in the Real Estate area at the investment bank Edmond de Rothschild. Over the last few years, Stoneweg’s investment capacity in real estate assets has exceeded €1,600 million, spread across Spain, the USA, Italy and a small part of Switzerland. (…).

Commitment to Spain

“We decided to take positions in Spain in 2015, buying land and buildings from financial institutions, Sareb and individual owners”, said Joaquín Castellví, Stoneweg’s CEO in Spain. The reasons for the firm’s commitment to Spain include its confidence in the strength of the economic recovery, the “attractive” financing conditions being offered for real estate assets and the “speed and transparency” with which the firm is able to access and close operations with local agents. “Moreover”, added Castellví, “mortgages for real estate assets are increasing again, which means that the Spanish market will be the ideal place to sell assets in around five years”.

Stoneweg’s main investment focus is on the residential market (where it will allocate two-thirds of its capital under management) be it the development of new homes or the renovation of existing buildings. To this end, the modus operandi of the management company, which has already invested €450 million of the €750 million that it is planning to spend this year, consists of closing operations to purchase land or buildings with tickets of between €100 million and €150 million to build on themselves or in conjunction with local property developers.

Currently, the company has 30 residential projects underway (in varying phases), with a total of 1,300 homes, which are due to be ready at various points between this year and 2020. It also plans to close the year with 50 projects in its portfolio, corresponding to 2,000 homes for sale.

Stoneweg insists on building homes “in accordance with the highest international standards, to ensure an extraordinary level of comfort”.

In terms of their locations of choice, Castellví confirmed that his company is focusing on Madrid, Barcelona and the Mediterranean Coast, “but” he says, “ we are flexible both in terms of the type of project, as well as location within the aforementioned areas”. (…).

Original story: El Mundo (by Luis M. De Ciria)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Grupo Barceló’s Profits Rose By 25% To €125M In 2016

28 April 2017 – Expansión

Grupo Barceló earned €125 million in 2016, which represented an increase of 25% compared to the previous year. Moreover, the hotel group expects to record a net profit of €150 million this year thanks to improvements in management and investments undertaken. The company obtained a gross operating profit (EBITDA) of €338.6 million in 2016, up by 12% and spent more than €140 million improving its hotel stock, of which €110 million was invested in a dozen establishments in Latin America, according to its annual report.

Grupo Barceló closed 2016 with turnover of €2,855 million, up by 15.1%, and net sales of €1,979.7 million (+23.7%), having managed to reduce its net financial debt by 8.3% to €495 million. At the next General Shareholders’ Meeting, which will be held on 2 June, the Board of Directors will propose the distribution of a dividend amounting to €12.5 million. Last July, the firm distributed a dividend amounting to €10 million, which was charged against the results for 2015.

Forecasts

Looking ahead to this year, the company expects to generate EBITDA of almost €388 million. “This year, we expect to see improvements in all of the countries in which we have a presence. The data for the first few months of 2017 show an improving trend in terms of occupancy rates, tariffs and RevPar (average revenue per available room).

Moreover, Barceló underlined that the soundness of its balance sheet will allow it to have access to “interesting” investment projects and to continue growing across all of its divisions. The company currently has 229 hotels in 21 countries, with almost 50,500 rooms, including 112 hotels from the US manager Crestline, which it consolidates 100% after purchasing the 60% stake that it did not control from AR Global in April last year. Overall, the group owns 39 of its hotels, leases 57 of them and manages the remaining 133.

In addition, the firm stated that in January, the Mercantile Court of Palma dismissed the claim against Barceló filed by the bankruptcy administration of Orizonia, which amounted to €59.6 million. In a letter, the Co-Presidents, Simón Barceló Tous and Simón Pedro Barceló highlighted the “record” results obtained both in terms of EBITDA and net profit, with double-digit growth in both parameters as well as in turnover, all as a result of its ordinary activity.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Barceló’s Profits Soar By 86% In 2014 To Reach €46.4M

23 April 2015 – Expansión

Barceló’s results are improving thanks to the economic recovery. The tourism group closed 2014 with turnover of €2,056.6 million, up 6.2% from a year earlier. Net income increased by 22.1% to €1,329.7million – €888.4 million in Spain – whilst its gross operating profit (EBITDA) amounted to €216.7 million. The group’s profit for the full year after tax shot up by 85.6% to €46.4 million and its net debt decreased by 15.3% to €717.3 million, to yield a ratio of net debt over EBITDA of 3.3x.

By division, Barceló Viajes, which will soon be renamed B The Travel Brand, recorded revenues of €1,200 million in 2014, up 14.2%. The increase came as a result of the decrease in the number of operators in the Spanish market – after the disappearance of Marsans and Orizonia – and the upturn in domestic demand.

At 31 December 2014, Barceló had 653 agencies, several tour operators and the charter airline Evelop.

Latin America

In the hotel segment, the company highlights the rise in the average daily (room) rate and revenue per room, which allowed it to offset the 0.6% decrease in its occupancy rate. In Latin America, Barceló’s properties recorded EBITDA increases of 30% and overall accounted for 74% of the group’s total profits. In addition to the increase in (room) rates, Barceló’s policy to refurbish its hotels has also had an effect. Since 2007, the group has spent more than €1,000 million in this area – €90 million in 2014.

At 1 March 2015, Barceló operated 95 hotels – it owned 55% of these and rented 27% – and 29,375 rooms in 16 countries. 59% of its properties are four-star hotels and 65% are sun and beach locations. Moreover, Barceló owns a 40% stake in Crestline, a company that manages another 74 properties in the USA.

After opening two hotels in 2014, the Group’s routemap includes resuming growth. As such, the chain has started the year by opening a new hotel in Puebla (Mexico) and will incorporate another six properties (into its portfolio) before 2016.

In parallel, at the beginning of 2015, the Group created a Socimi with Hispania. It will transfer 16 hotels and two shopping centres valued at €421 million to this entity to reduce its exposure to real estate, which is currently at its highest level ever. Similarly, in 2014, Barceló sold a number of its hotels in the USA and Dominican Republic.

This year, the goal of the company, which is controlled by the Barceló family and employs 23,681 people, is to generate EBITDA of €251 million and net profit of €99.8 million.

In 2014, Barceló agreed to distribute €10 million in dividends and has proposed an additional payment of €4.3 million in 2015, which is pending shareholder approval.

Original story: Expansión (by Y. Blanco)

Translation: Carmel Drake