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Interview with Jean-Philippe Savoye, President and CEO of Orbis: "Orbis shows double-digit growth in its RevPAR"

{{HTR: Are you satisfied with the month of November, and the past year in general?J-P S.: }} On the German border, Wroclaw is in the midst of a boom. The city received a great deal of foreign investment. Many companies are opening there – Hewlett Packard, LG, 3M. We are building two Etap Hotels and an Ibis in the city. Krakow, a major city for tourism continues to grow. With regard to tourism, Sopot, located between Gdansk and Gdynia, is developing as a seaside resort. We have just opened a magnificent Sofitel there. This kind of Polish Deauville is developing a strong appeal and a Sheraton is also being opened there. On a national level, three Novotels are currently being built. And the brand Ibis is experiencing a great success. We will continue to develop this brand for the domestic market of 40 million inhabitants. We are also launching the development of an Etap network, with several properties along the major road leading to Moscow.Jean-Philippe Savoye:}} The month of November was excellent. And the entire year was very good. Except for May and June when we felt the impact of the Fifa World Cup. German clientele stayed at home during this period. Growth in Poland’s GNP will be close to 6% this year after dropping to +1.5% 4 years ago. In this context, in 2006, Orbis will realize double-digit growth. The share value doubled during fiscal year 2006, growing from 31 to 64 zlotys. And we also budgeted double-digit growth next year.{{HTR: After a period of overcapacity, is performance in Warsaw improving?J-P S.:}} Warsaw’s overcapacity is being absorbed. After a period of major growth beginning in 2000 the supply is balanced. Since then, the capacity has not changed much. A few hotels have opened, but the older hotels closed. We recently tore down an old two-star to replace it with an Etap Hotel. On the other hand demand is up. The Business segment in particular is more dynamic. And the Leisure segment is benefiting from the opening of a significant number of low-cost flights. Poland’s economy is doing well thanks to the influx of European structural funds. Consequently: the number of visitors is back on the rise. From 13.5 million in 2003, today this figure is close to 16 million. Our strategic German clientele is back.{{HTR: What is the impact of this growth in demand on your average daily rates?J-P S.:}} We are coming out of a crisis. Prices are growing more slowly. I don’t expect to see prices influenced until next spring. Warsaw remains the least expensive capital in Europe, whereas it was the most expensive in 1998. Moreover, with Europe, the value of the zloty appreciated by 15% with respect to the euro. This affects our average daily rate, because many contracts are signed in euros. Nonetheless our RevPAR is up by two digits on the year.{{HTR: Which are the most dynamic cities in Poland that could give direction to your development?J-P S.: }} On the German border, Wroclaw is in the midst of a boom. The city received a great deal of foreign investment. Many companies are opening there – Hewlett Packard, LG, 3M. We are building two Etap Hotels and an Ibis in the city. Krakow, a major city for tourism continues to grow. With regard to tourism, Sopot, located between Gdansk and Gdynia, is developing as a seaside resort. We have just opened a magnificent Sofitel there. This kind of Polish Deauville is developing a strong appeal and a Sheraton is also being opened there. On a national level, three Novotels are currently being built. And the brand Ibis is experiencing a great success. We will continue to develop this brand for the domestic market of 40 million inhabitants. We are also launching the development of an Etap network, with several properties along the major road leading to Moscow.

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