Worldwide briefing

03 August 2004
Worldwide briefing

Essential news from around the world…

Savoy to open in Vegas Three-Michelin-starred French chef Guy Savoy is to work with Caesars Palace hotel and casino in Las Vegas to open his only US restaurant in the property's new 949-bedroom tower, set to open in 2005. The eaterie will seat about 75 diners.

Travel rebound boosts Mandarin Oriental The rebound in international travel helped worldwide luxury hotel group Mandarin Oriental increase sales by 25% to $304.1m (£167m) during the six months to 30 June. The group made a profit of $5.6m (£3m), against a loss of $10.7m (£5.9m) at the same point last year. Mandarin opened new hotels in New York and Washington DC during the period.

French ban school vending machines The French parliament has banned vending machines in schools selling fizzy drinks and sweets as part of a drive to curb childhood obesity. An estimated 6,000-8,000 machines will have to be removed before the new school term starts in September.

Méridien sets sights on Croatia and Israel
Global hotel chain Le Méridien has moved into Croatia after signing an agreement to run a 381-bedroom hotel in the city of Split. The property is currently closed for redevelopment and will re-open in early 2006. Le Méridien has also added a property in Israel after signing a franchise agreement with Israel's largest hotel company, Fattal Hotel Management, for the 578-bedroom Le Méridien Dead Sea Resort & Spa, formerly the Hyatt.

Krispy Kreme under scrutiny Doughnut chain Krispy Kreme has disclosed that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the country's financial watchdog, is conducting an informal investigation into the company. The SEC's concerns are mainly over the company's franchise reacquisitions and the profit warning it issued in May.

Upmarket properties buoy Accor
Accor, the French-owned group, has reported sales in its hotel division up by 4.8% to €2.5b (£1.7b) during the first six months of 2004. On a like-for-like basis, hotel revenues were up by 5.4%. In upmarket and midmarket hotels like-for-like revenues increased by a average 7.1%, while in budget hotels sales were up by 3%.

Pizza growth slows in USA The US pizza restaurant market grew by 13% to more than $16b (£8.8b) during 2003, according to a report from market research firm Mintel. But the growth slowed to just 3% during 2003 as the number of households with children remained static and competition from other fast-food restaurants increased.

Hilton profits on the up
USA-based Hilton Hotels Corporation has reported net profits of $75m (£41m) during the second quarter of 2004, a 39% increase on the $54m (£30m) recorded at the same point last year. Total sales were up by 9% to just more than $1b (£548m), from $976m (£535m) a year earlier.

Sunnier outlook for Sol Meliá Spanish hotel group Sol Meliá increased revenues by 6.9% to €489m (£323m) in the first three months of 2004. Earnings rose by 13.2% to €103m (£68m).

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