France and the United Kingdom are leading in the European hotel industry
? The first semester concluded with very good results for the French hotel industry, which is leading the European hotel industry with an acceleration in average daily rate growth.
? Activity during the first 6 months remained positive in the United Kingdom (RevPAR up by +5.9%) while results from Germany were nearly unchanged (+1.7%). Spain is still having problems of overcapacity and registered a drop in RevPAR during the first semester (-4.5%).
Since September 2004, the MKG Consulting Database has offered a daily programme that allows for the daily monitoring of hotel indicators for each hotel of a sample that in July 2005 already included 1,000 hotels and 100,000 rooms in France.
During the course of the first semester of 2005, France and the United Kingdom continued to see excellent results, with rises in RevPAR that totalled 3.3% and 5.9% respectively. France’s Mediterranean neighbours, Spain and Italy, registered greater difficulties, which only highlighted the performance of France.
In the United Kingdom, hotels continued to post excellent results with an average rise in RevPAR of 5.9%. The United Kingdom began its recovery phase quite early, and the sustained levels in demand imply particularly high average occupancy rate levels. This trend continues, and occupancy rates continue to climb in this semester. After having already seen an exceptional year in 2004, with a sustained rise in average daily rates (+6.4% over the year), the room for manoeuvring may nonetheless be lessened in upcoming months for increases in average daily rates already rather high (nearly 120 euros). It is still too early to assess the potential impact of the terrorist bombings in London on the British hotel industry, though the tragic events that have affected London may lead to a drop in leisure customers in the second semester.
Germany, where hotel results are particularly strongly correlated to trade fairs and commercial exhibitions and shows and to business activity, registered switchback results during the course of the first semester of 2005. In April 2005, German hoteliers posted the largest rise in 5 years (+22.5% increase in RevPAR), before experiencing a month of May far worse (-17.1%). Overall, over the first six months of the year, the necessity of increasing occupancy rates among the lowest in Europe, has led to ever more aggressive rate policies in order to attract new customer segments. Within a context of week economic growth, average daily rates remain down and RevPAR levels unchanged versus the first semester of 2004.
Spain has seen problems in overcapacity and has finished the year 2004 with particularly poor results, with a drop of 7.3% in RevPAR. Over the first 6 months of the year, the trend in falling RevPAR rates continued. With a supply that is rapidly growing, average daily rates are still negatively oriented. Nonetheless, occupancy rates stabilised over the first semester (+0.2 points) which may indicate a turnaround in the situation.
In France, an acceleration in growth in-line with MKG Consulting forecasts
Thanks to a very good month of June (+5.0% in RevPAR growth), the first semester of the year 2005 concluded with a 3.3% rise in RevPAR which is in line with forecasts published by MKG Consulting at the end of 2004 (+3% to +5%). These results confirm the scenario forecasted by MKG Consulting: acceleration in the growth of average daily rates following the turnaround in occupancy rates registered in 2004.
The 4* segment registered the largest rise in RevPAR, a consequence of significant growth (+0.7%) in occupancy rates combined with a 1.9% rise in average daily rates. It is notably the Paris hotel market that seems to benefit from this return to activity. With the holding of major events such as the Paris Air Show, and within a context of an improvement of the European economy, business customers have been more present. Simultaneously, international business customers, American in particular, have returned this year.
The other hotel categories have not been dormant. The budget hotel sector in France in particular has continued showing its resistance in recent years (despite a sustained rate of growth in supply) and continues to post good results.
Foreign investors demonstrate a large degree of confidence in the activity of the French hotel market: the acquisition at the end of last week of Louvre Hotels by Starwood Capital is the most recent proof of this.