BERLIN, March 6 (Reuters) – Europe’s hotel sector is finding
its financing options are the best in years as investors seek
better returns in a low interest rate environment and economies
emerge from bruising recessions, fanning optimism for the rest
of the year.
Industry executives say lenders and investors now understand
the sector better, seeing it more as a business investment than
a straight property play.
PARIS, March 5 (Reuters) – Germany’s Lufthansa on
Wednesday announced plans to offer wirelessly streamed movies to
passengers on trans-European flights, sparking a clash over the
future of traditional seatback systems at the world’s largest
Europe’s largest traditional network carrier said passengers
on some medium-haul flights would be able to stream movies, TV
programmes, music or games from an onboard server to their own
portable devices or smartphones starting from the summer.
BERLIN, March 5 (Reuters) – Lufthansa, Germany’s
largest airline, unveiled its new premium economy class on
Wednesday, part of a 3 billion euro investment in seats to catch
up with fast-growing rivals from the Middle East.
The airline said the new class would first be available on
long-haul flights from November on its Boeing 747-8, flying to
destinations such as Washington DC, Los Angeles or Hong Kong.
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A strike by security staff at Frankfurt airport caused flight cancellations and delayed thousands of passengers, bringing chaos to Europe’s third largest hub on Friday, the busiest day of the week for travelers.
Trade union Verdi had called on around 5,000 people who check passengers, baggage and freight at the airport to strike for the entire day to push for their pay to be brought into line with that of staff at other German airports.
FRANKFURT/PARIS, Feb 20 (Reuters) – The bombing of a coach
carrying Korean holidaymakers in the Sinai peninsula on Sunday
has dealt Egyptian tourism a hammer blow, just as it was
attempting a fragile recovery from three years of political
By killing two holidaymakers near one of Egypt’s biggest
sea-and-sun resorts, the Islamist militants behind the attack
have undermined Egyptian official assurances that foreigners
face no threat from the turmoil that has shaken the country
since the overthrow of autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
MUNICH, Feb 18 (Reuters) – Delivering costly new engines to
meet a boom in orders for passenger jets will keep profits flat
at MTU Aero Engines this year, before its more
lucrative spare parts business benefits later this decade, it
said on Tuesday.
The German firm, which supplies planemakers Boeing,
Airbus and Bombardier, makes bigger profit
margins from selling spare parts than supplying new engines, in
which it has to invest more money, and saw its operating margin
fall by 1 percentage point to 10.1 percent in 2013.
FRANKFURT, Feb 7 (Reuters) – German fashion house Hugo Boss
said it was confident of stronger growth this year as
it continues to open more of its own stores, its new womenswear
designer launches his first collection, and as the recovery in
Europe takes hold.
“We are seeing enough signs that we can grow faster in 2014
than we did in 2013,” Chief Financial Officer Mark Langer told
Reuters after the group reported a 6 percent rise in 2013 sales
Hugo Boss expects sales from its own stores will rise by
over 10 percent in 2014, while wholesale revenues will be flat,
The group, known for its men’s suits, has been moving away
from selling through partners to running its own stores, where
it has more control of how goods are displayed and what price
they are sold at, helping to improve its margins.
In a bid to shake up its womenswear business, which it has
struggled to expand as fast as originally hoped, it has hired
Jason Wu, a U.S.-based designer whose dresses have been worn by
First Lady Michelle Obama and actresses Reese Witherspoon and
The investment in its own stores, with a further 50 planned
this year, and marketing around Wu, plus slower luxury spending
in China, means Hugo Boss last year postponed its 2015 target to
reach a 25 percent margin – core profit as a percentage of
“We are concerned that growth will again be held back this
year by additional brand investments,” Commerzbank analyst
Andreas Riemann said in a note.
Langer said the group would still be improving margins over
the next couple of years, only more slowly than expected.
Shares dropped 1.7 percent on Friday, as sales in the fourth
quarter came in slightly below expectations after growth slowed
in the United States and China remained subdued. Europe, which
makes up 60 percent of sales, developed very positively, Langer
Hugo Boss reported fourth-quarter adjusted earnings before
interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of 157
million euros ($213.5 million) on sales of 649 million euros.
For 2013, sales rose 6 percent to 2.43 billion euros, at the
low end of its target range of 6-8 percent for both sales and
profit. EBITDA increased 7 percent to 565 million euros and
Langer said this means an increased dividend is likely.
Langer also said Hugo Boss still viewed emerging markets as
a good source of growth, despite the recent devaluation of
currencies in countries like Turkey and Brazil affecting how
much it costs to operate there.
“Emerging markets make up only 16 percent of our sales. We
see a very attractive and profitable opportunity to grow in
countries like Brazil, Turkey or Russia.”
Hugo Boss will release full annual results and a 2014
outlook on March 13.
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s Lufthansa (LHAG.DE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has picked Carsten Spohr as its new chief executive, naming a company veteran to lead the battle against low-cost carriers and fast-growing Gulf airlines.
Germany’s largest airline has been looking for a new boss since September, when it was announced current CEO Christoph Franz would leave at the end of May to become chairman at Swiss pharmaceuticals company Roche (ROG.VX: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).
FRANKFURT/MILAN, Feb 6 (Reuters) – A potential deal to buy a
stake in troubled Italian airline Alitalia could be
the biggest test yet for Abu Dhabi-based Etihad’s strategy of
using stakes in ailing airlines as an easy way to expand its
Etihad’s collection of minority airline stakes stretches
from the Seychelles to Ireland and Australia, and dates back to
the purchase of an almost 30 percent stake in Air Berlin
at the end of 2011.
BERLIN (Reuters) – If anyone wants to know the German for “weasels covered in gravy”, then comic Eddie Izzard, who unlike some of his countrymen is a lover of all things European, is the go-to man.
The stand-up, already known for doing shows in French, is bringing his Force Majeure tour to audiences in German, Spanish, Russian and Arabic – all languages he doesn’t actually speak. Until now.