NH NH Hoteles’ General Shareholders’ Meeting, held today, Thursday in the NH Eurobuilding in Madrid, approved the appointment of Alfredo Fernández Durán as the Board of Directors representative for Amancio Ortega, who owns, among other businesses, Zara. The new NH Hoteles Board Member is Head of Investments of the Amancio Ortega«s private portfolio.
NH shareholders also ratified the appointment of Aurelio Izquierdo Mart’nez, Bancaja’s current Deputy General Manager, as Bancaja’s representative to the Board of Directors, which was effective three months ago.
The decision to include these top executives representing Bancaja and Amancio Ortega confirms their trust in the management of the NH hotel chain.
Both entities have wagered on NH and each acquired a 5% stake in the Company in recent months, with these acquisitions being confirmed to the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores when they took place.
In today’s General Shareholders’ Meeting, Gabriele Burgio, the president of NH Hotels, mentioned Group’s sales had increased 15% to €325 mn as at the end of May. The company is still recovering from the economic slowdown of recent months following the 11 September events. Occupancy in Spain is at 68% levels and close to 64% in the rest of Europe. In comparable hotels, occupancy in the first five months of the year totalled 66% with RevPar, at almost €63, close to the levels recorded in the same period last year.
The president of NH stated that one of the Company’s main objectives is “to complete the NH brand implementation process in those countries where the chain operates and to become one of the leading city hotel groups with the largest presence in Europe and Latin America. In this sense, our efforts to complete the Company’s rebranding process with the new NH image should be completed by the end of December of this year, with the exception of Astron hotels, where we are currently carrying out a market study before taking any decision in this respect”.
Gabriele Burgio discussed 2001 results and said that “these good results are mainly on the back of an intelligent and non-aggressive national and international expansion drive where we have maintained our quality and customer care standards”. NH’s president mentioned that “NH opened 13 hotels last year with more than 1,700 rooms and acquired NH Mexico, the chain’s first business venture in one of Latin America’s most important markets”. He also mentioned the recent acquisition of Astron Hotels, a leading company in Germany with 53 hotels and more than 8,300 rooms.
Gabriele Burgio stressed the merger driven synergies and cost savings plan which the Company is currently implementing. This plan will enable the chain to save €75 mn until the year 2005. So far, NH has succeeded in saving €10.4 mn.
NH shareholders, approved the Board of Directors’ proposal for the merger of NH Hoteles and Promociones Eurobuilding, where the chain had a 98,5% stake in the absorbed company.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning that NH shareholders agreed to authorize the Company’s Board of Directors to approve capital increases as well as convertible securities issues. These agreements will give the company the financial flexibility it needs for forging ahead with its expansion process.