Following the release of the HotelBenchmark Annual Profitability Survey by Deloitte earlier this year, we anticipated that profit levels across the European hotel market would improve during 2004. So far so good. Latest monthly profitability data on Germany shows an increase in income before fixed charges (IBFC) for five out of six cities tracked during the first half of 2004.
As shown in the table below, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and Berlin increased their profits per available room (PAR) during the first six months of the year, compared to the same period in 2003.
Despite being the most profitable city of the six tracked, Frankfurt was the only market to see profitability levels fall during the first six months of the year. One of the main reasons for this is due to the timing of trade fairs, which regularly have a significant impact on German hotel performance. This year Frankfurt has missed the ISH - International Plumbing and Heating Fair, which is held biennially.
Düsseldorf reported the strongest growth in profit levels, with IBFC per available room increasing by 86 percent. The Drupa Print Media Fair, held every four years, helped boost hotel performance. Munich also benefited from the BAUMA Fair (construction and building machineries fair), which takes place every three years. Overall the city has seen IBFC grow by 22 percent compared to same period last year.
Hopefully hotels in both Düsseldorf and Munich will continue to perform well during the remainder of 2004. This month Munich hosts the INTERMOT (motorcycle fair); whilst in October Düsseldorf will host the K - International Trade Fair for Plastics and Rubber. Since these fairs are not held on an annual basis, they should further help boost hotel profit levels.
Berlin, Hamburg and Stuttgart are smaller trade fair destinations; so consequently their profit growth has been more subtle compared to other markets. Stuttgart has benefited from a decrease in supply following the closure of the former InterContinental Stuttgart in December 2003. This is scheduled to re-open as the Le Meridien Stuttgart at the end of the year.
Most markets tracked on the German edition of the Monthly Profitability Survey have seen their profit levels improve during the first half of 2004. This growth is a direct result of the German market enjoying a good year for trade fairs, especially with many non-annual events being held. In addition, the improvement in Germany’s economic performance has also helped hotels improve their profitability levels. The Economic Intelligence Unit expects the country to see Gross Domestic Product increase by 1.7 percent this year. All this paints a positive picture - with a buoyant trade fair market and the enhanced economic outlook for Germany, profits levels should continue to improve for the rest of the year.