PPHE Hotel Group provides business update

PPHE taking steps to reopen some properties but note that the situation remains dynamic and Group continue to closely monitor customer demand as well as local government guidelines, the re-opening of international borders and easing of restrictions on movement, which vary between markets.

LONDON: PPHE Hotel Group, the international hospitality real estate group which develops, owns and operates hotels and resorts, announced the following update on the current operations across the Group and art’otel london hoxton development.

  • Openings in Croatia have commenced with campsites to be followed by selected hotels in the course of June;
  • Germany and Hungary operations continue for several hotels albeit with subdued demand;
  • Selected hotels across the Netherlands and the United Kingdom expected to reopen in June and July respectively;
  • To protect customer and colleague safety through the reopening period, ‘Reassuring Moments by Park Plaza’ and ‘be bold, be creative, be safe by art’otel’ health and safety programmes launched, as well as adoption of Radisson Hotel Group’s programme and SGS accreditation, building on the Group’s enhanced expertise over the last couple of months supporting key workers in London;
  • Previously announced £180 million funding for development of art’otel london hoxton now completed providing further financial liquidity to the Group; and
  • Written notice to proceed ,under the building contract for art’otel london hoxton, has been served on Gear Construction UK Limited.

“Following on from our Trading Update on 15 April 2020, we have continued to closely monitor developments across all of our operating markets while ensuring our readiness to reopen our properties and welcome back guests by developing comprehensive and tailored operational processes for when various government guidelines allow and it is right for us to do so.

“We have undertaken fundamental changes to our workforce, through the use of government employment schemes, reductions in hours, voluntary payroll reductions, reducing overheads and, unfortunately, through redundancies. The Group is closely monitoring changes to government support, border controls and rules for quarantine in the respective regions. It is possible that a large number of redundancies may be necessary in the UK region to ensure the Group’s operational structure is fit for purpose and accords with guest demand for the short to medium term. The Group has and will continue to adapt to market conditions in a manner that preserves cash-on hand, long-term growth prospects and is mindful of the culture and values of the Group”.

In Croatia, following the easing of lockdown restrictions, Arena Hospitality Group d.d, in which the Group holds a controlling ownership interest, has re-opened its campsites on the Istrian Peninsula, and anticipates further openings of selected hotels and resorts over the coming two weeks.

In Germany and Hungary, although demand remains subdued, a number of properties re-opened in May, adhering to social distancing rules with limited capacity and limited food & beverage offering.

Current plans are to open selected hotels across the Netherlands and the United Kingdom through a phased approach from June and July respectively, subject to customer demand and local government legislation and guidelines, and with a limited service offering.

Our flagship hotels Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam and Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London have remained open, with Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London welcoming essential workers. This has enabled the Group to take practical learnings which will be applied across our portfolio.

Safety and wellbeing for team members and guests remains the Group’s number one priority in reopening its properties. With this in mind, the business remains committed to upholding an even higher standard of cleanliness and wellness as we welcome customers over the coming months.

In May, we launched the ‘Reassuring Moments’ programme for our Park Plaza branded hotels and  our ‘be bold, be creative, be safe’ programme for the art’otel branded properties. These programmes are designed to uphold rigorous safety standards across both brands and provide effective and transparent communications to team members and guests about our safety procedures. The Group is also implementing a new 20-step protocol for hotels and 10-step protocol for meeting and event spaces in partnership with Radisson Hotel Group.

These programmes, which have been created in line with World Health Organization recommendations, include contactless check-in and contactless transactions, increased cleaning and disinfection, improved air circulation processes, in-room dining, reduction of in-room furnishings, staff temperature checks, increased cleaning procedures, and new restaurant and bar layouts to ensure adherence to social distancing guidelines.

Additional training is being rolled out and will be regularly reviewed, refreshed and retrained to maintain effective compliance with these enhanced health and wellness programmes. Personal protective equipment will be provided where needed.

Further to the announcement on 8 April 2020, all conditions precedent for drawdown in connection with the new facility agreement of up to £180 million to fund the development of art’otel london hoxton, have been satisfied and notice to Gear Construction UK Limited has been served under the building contract. This gives the Group the ability to drawdown funds under the facility agreement. Piling works have now completed and substructure works are underway.

Boris Ivesha, President & Chief Executive Officer, PPHE said: “We are continuing to adapt to the unprecedented environment. As the impact of Covid-19 begins to ease and restrictions are lifted, our focus now turns to gradually reopening our properties, creating growth opportunities and continuing to take active steps to maintain our financial position during periods of partial operations.”



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