Interviewed by Hospitality ON, Wolfgang M. Neumann, President and CEO of The Rezidor Hotel Group, reviews the growth strategy of the hotel group and his goals for Route 2015.
"We have been growing at a strong pace, reaching a fleet of 330 hotels in operation and 100 under development. Regarding the financial objectives of Route 2015, to increase our operating margin (EBITDA %) by 6 to 8 percentage points by 2015, we are on track to achieve this goal. Our gross margin grew by 2.1 percentage points in 2012, and the results of 2013 are very positive with an increase in EBITDA margins close to 2.8 percentage points over the first three quarters. We have exceeded our targets for this year. The main drivers of Route 2015 are: income generation, gaining market share; development, particularly in emerging markets; cost reduction, materializing savings [which will happen to the tune of 30 to 50 million euros in savings]; and the management of our hotel portfolio, with the Asset Light development of the group [note: without owning real estate, meaning the hotel asset], where we are in line with objectives..."