“Our strategy is paying off!”
Kempinski Hotels achieved the best performance in the history of the company in 2012, focusing on growth in Europe and Africa.
Berlin, March 6, 2013 – Reto Wittwer, President and CEO of Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group, comments on the company achieving its best financial results (provisional numbers) in the history of Kempinski Hotels succinctly: “Our strategy is paying off and we’re now reaping the fruits of our labour.” The outstanding result of 20 million Euros (EBITDA) in 2012 impressively underlines the success of the group’s business strategy. “We have turned Kempinski around from an almost bankrupt business into a rock-solid one with an equity ratio of well over 40 percent. With revenue of 1.1 billion Euros, our hotels passed the billion mark for the first time last year,” states Wittwer, who has successfully managed Kempinski since 1995. Kempinski has been in the five-star hotel business since 1897. The group’s majority shareholders have remained the same for more than 15 years. The majority shareholders back and support the group’s long-term strategy. “As a hotel operator, this makes us a strong and reliable partner for hotel investors and owners. We will continue to plan and work on a long-term basis and keep following our ‘Luxury is limited’ strategy in the future,” says Wittwer. “Our success proves we are on the right track.”
Enhanced by strong growth in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa as well as China, Kempinski was able to increase its operational business numbers by 18 percent and organic growth by 15 percent. The overall increase in turnover was 19 percent compared to the previous year. Room revenue increased by 21 percent in tandem with a 17 percent increase in room nights globally. Taking all Kempinski hotels worldwide into consideration, RevPAR (revenue per available room) improved by 4.9 percent. In Germany, Kempinski’s most important feeder market, revenue grew by 8 percent while RevPAR increased by 11 percent. Wittwer explains, “When it comes to management fees, we have also reached double digit growth with a 19 percent increase. Twelve hotels each contributed more than one million Euros to this result.”
Stronger focus on Europe and Africa
This year, Kempinski will open nine new hotels including two in Europe, two in Africa (plus one lodge), two in China, two in Saudi Arabia and one in Egypt. The group’s new flagship hotel in Austria’s capital city, the Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna, is about to celebrate its grand opening. Soon after that, Kempinski’s second hotel in Moscow, the Kempinski Hotel Nikol’skaya, will open. The property has a history that dates back almost 200 years. With the Olare Mara Kempinski Masai Mara, an exclusive safari camp for a maximum of 24 guests at the edge of the Masai Mara in south-western Kenya, Kempinski is returning to the safari market. “Africa is a market of the future for Kempinski, where we definitely want to be more strongly represented”, specifies Wittwer. “Our strategic interest is in hotels and lodges as these are what our guests seek.” Two further hotels on the African continent will open up their doors this year: the Villa Rosa Kempinski in Nairobi, Kenya, and the Kempinski Hotel Gold Coast City in Accra, Ghana. In addition to Africa and further growth in Asia, the hotel group is clearly focusing on Europe in terms of development in 2013 and the years ahead “as luxury and lifestyle are at home here,” points out Wittwer. Cities such as Zurich, Rome, Paris and Barcelona, but also Warsaw and Düsseldorf, are at the very top of the list. “The properties must fit our brand, need to be unique in their own way and must have the best location”, Kempinski’s CEO explains. The South American market is also of interest for the luxury hotel group, which then will open doors to properties in the Caribbean soon. India, where the Kempinski Ambience Hotel Delhi recently opened its doors as the first Kempinski-managed hotel, is a country with excellent growth opportunities for the group. Despite further plans for expansion, the stated target for the group is exclusive growth. New opportunities are reviewed in depth and carefully selected.
Scoring points in Food & Beverage and setting new standards
“The F&B offering plays an increasingly important role in the hotel industry – not only in providing guests with wonderful experiences, but also as a profitable source of revenue”, Wittwer is convinced. On average, almost half of a hotel’s total revenue is generated by the food and beverage offerings, and this is an increasing trend. “Kempinski has a fine heritage in gastronomy, and this is what we want to build on”, says Wittwer describing the direction for the group’s F&B offerings. “Our vision is to become the uncontested leader in the hotel and restaurant industry – and we are heading in the right direction.” The latest developments underline this new focus.
Kempinski is already leading the way with Sra Bua, paving the way for new culinary horizons and opening up a dialogue between two continents: Asia, with its diverse cuisine and surprising flavours, and Europe, known for its flair, tradition and style. Culinary discoveries provide guests with fresh new tastes and unforgettable experiences. Following locations in Bangkok, the Kitzbühel Alps and St Moritz, the fourth Sra Bua restaurant, Sra Bua by Tim Raue at the Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin, will open in April.
Kempinski is also introducing a completely new concept with Die Küche (The Kitchen), at the Palais Hansen Kempinski in Vienna. In times past, the kitchen was the most important place in a house, not only for eating but also as a place for family and friends to get together and socialise. Now Kempinski is revitalising this idea and bringing it into the 21st century. The focus is on the interaction between guests and the kitchen staff and simply enjoying fine food. Die Küche in the Palais Hansen is divided into three areas: the kitchen, the living area and the winter garden. Guests can select the ambience which most appeals to them. There are also two live cooking stations, where guests can prepare their food together with the chef or take a seat for a first-class view of the creation of their meal. These cooking stations are also available for personal cooking events for small groups. Breakfast or brunch becomes a marketplace of flavours, with different stations on offer where guests can each compose their perfect breakfast from a variety of choices. Another element of the concept is that meals can be served directly in bowls and dishes right on the table – just like you might be used to at your grandmother’s. Ample opportunities are created for interaction amongst both guests and staff. This concept will be introduced in other Kempinski hotels so that these restaurants become a unique place of attraction for hotel guests and visitors.
Created in 1897, Kempinski Hotels is Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group. Kempinski’s rich heritage of impeccable personal service and superb hospitality is complemented by the exclusivity and individuality of its properties. Kempinski now comprises a portfolio of 75 five-star hotels in 30 countries and continues to add new properties in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Each one reflects the strength and success of the Kempinski brand without losing sight of its heritage. The portfolio comprises historic landmark properties, award-winning urban lifestyle hotels, outstanding resorts, and prestigious residences. Each one is imbued with the quality guests have come to expect from Kempinski while embracing the cultural traditions of its location. Kempinski is a founding member of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA), the world’s largest alliance of independent hotels.
Nicola Blazier/Sarah Jesson
Jesson + Company Communications Inc.
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