Simon Naudi - photo by Rene Rossignaud

Managing Director (MD) and CEO Simon Naudi has stated that International Hotel Investments plc (IHI) has continued to push forward with planned hotel openings, despite a number of macroeconomic challenges over recent years.

IHI, the trading name of Corinthia Group, owns and manages a number of hotels across four different continents, and over the years it has also delved into residential and commercial real estate markets through a range of investments in subsidiary and associate companies. In Malta, it owns and manages the iconic Corinthia Palace Hotel (Attard), Corinthia Hotel St George’s Bay (St Julian’s), Radisson Blu Resort & Spa (Mellieħa), Marina Hotel St George’s Bay (St Julian’s), and Radisson Blu Resort (St Julian’s).

His comments came as part of IHI’s Annual Report for the financial year ended 31st December 2023, published on Tuesday. During the year, total revenue surged upwards by 20.8 per cent to €287.8 million (2022: €238.2 million), the majority of which came from wholly owned hotels. The costs of providing services also increased, going up by 20.4 per cent to €151.1 million (2022: €125.6 million). Additionally, IHI also incurred substantial finance costs during the year, given the company is heavily invested in real estate financed in part through bank borrowings and bonds, and is hence subject to annual re-assessments on the value in use of the properties, aside from other factors. This led to IHI recording a pre-tax loss of €4.1 million in 2023, a sharp drop from the €1.1 million pre-tax loss recorded in the previous year.

Total assets increased to €1.8 billion in 2023, up from the €1.7 billion as at the end of 2022.

In his report on the results, Mr Naudi noted that the year under review was characterised by a “welcome return to normality in the global travel markets following the havoc wreaked by the prior years’ pandemic.”

“On the other hand, as revenues return, and even outpace pre-pandemic levels in certain countries, the company continues to exercise a tight handle on operating costs in an environment of adverse geopolitical developments, significant inflationary pressures and rising interest rates,” he added. Mr Naudi affirmed that IHI reported significant improvements in operating profits in its hotel ownership and operations area.

A key part of IHI’s business plan is a move towards managing more third-party-owned hotels, facilitated through further investment in management company Corinthia Hotels Limited (CHL). The company operates 25 hotels around the world, of which eight are luxury Corinthia hotels under development and expected to be launched in the next couple of years.

Mr Naudi, who was appointed MD earlier this year, remarked that the investment in CHL came in the form of recruitment of added senior level human resources, together with global marketing and technology investment.

“Our target is to grow this brand by providing services to third-party hotel owners and developers worldwide,” he added.

To date, aside from the aforementioned Malta properties, IHI also owns and manages hotels in Brussels (opening 2024), Budapest, Lisbon, London, St Petersburg, Tripoli. It manages hotels in Bucharest (opening 2024), Budapest, Doha (opening 2025), New York (opening 2024), Prague Rome (opening 2025), Tunis, Riyadh (opening 2027), and Maldives (opening 2027)

Mr Naudi acknowledged that while IHI has passed from a number of turbulent years recently, firstly due to the pandemic and then because of geopolitical events and high inflation, it has “stayed the course.”

“In parallel, IHI continued to invest in our portfolio and human capital in preparation of our next growth phase with the opening of eight hotels in rapid succession. This augurs well for a strong future,” he added, before thanking the Board of Directors, management, and the rest of the company for the support.

Featured Image:

IHI MD and CEO Simon Naudi / Rene Rossignaud

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