Melia earned [Eur]101.6 million before tax (+79%) thank to the excellent performance of the hotel business, (+15,1% RevPAR) with a 29% improvement in EBITDA ([Eur]293M)

MIAMI, Feb. 26, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, Vice Chairman and CEO of Meliá Hotels International: "We face 2016, our 60th Anniversary, from a stronger position than ever before, both in terms of the business and our financial position, and proud that we have also seen a significant improvement in our reputation and international recognition, having been acknowledged as the "Best European Hotel Chain in 2015" by the European Hospitality Awards Jury. The Strategic Plan we will present during 2016 aims to further consolidate our brands, our digital commitment, and the competitiveness and positioning of our group."

Palma de Mallorca, 25 February 2016. In 2015, Meliá Hotels International earned a Net Profit of € 40.1 M (€ 36 M Net Attributed Profit), a significant improvement in both cases over the previous year (27% and 18%, respectively), although the two periods are not exactly comparable, given that 2015 results are affected by the higher tax rate that could result from the agreement that Meliá is now finalising with the Tax Administration, on the basis of the different criteria employed by both parties regarding the 2009-2012 period.

Discounting that extraordinary impact and the impairment of the hotel in Puerto Rico (€ 29 M), Net Profit before tax for the year grew by € 67 M compared with 2014, an increase of over 200%.

For the full year, Meliá generated revenues of € 1,738.2 M (+16%) and EBITDA of € 293.1 M.

These results are due to the consolidation of the improvement in all divisions of the hotel business, generating a record increase of 15.1% in revenue per available room (RevPAR), 15,81 if we exclude Venezuela, a result of both an improvement in the business environment and economy in key markets, as well as brand strategy and product repositioning, and also as a result of its digitization process and with a successful development of, which improved sales by 27% in 2015, and (+36%), aimed to enhance Sales and relationship with the Travel Agents after 60 years of fruitful collaboration. In financial terms Meliá met its debt reduction goals for the second consecutive year, reaching € 768.8 M, € 216 M less than in 2014 and returning to levels similar to those of 2007, one of the best years in the history of Meliá Hotels International.

2015 was also a record year for international expansion, with a pipeline of 62 new hotels at the end of the year (16,000 rooms), an achievement which is expected to continue in 2016 with the addition of 20 to 25 new hotels, of which two have already been signed in this quarter. 2016 will see the result of years of strong additions, with 25 openings scheduled between January and December in 15 different countries. The Company keeps growing in Cuba, where is the 1st International Hotel operator with over 14.000 rooms in 28 hotels, and having recently announced it will manage the future "Meliá Internacional Varadero" an amazing resort of 924 rooms.

Regarding hotels under management – the majority of the hotels added to the portfolio in recent years - the Group saw an increase of € 19.5 M in management fees compared to 2014, including hotels owned, leased and under management to third parties-. This increase is mainly due to higher fees from Cuba (+5.5 M €) and the Mediterranean Division (+4.4 M €). Urban hotels in Spain also contributed € 1.9 M more thanks to the hotels in Madrid.

The Real Estate business provided Melia Hotels International a total revenue of € 69.9 M in 2015, € 61.2 M of which was linked to the sale and valuation of assets. Significant events behind this result included the sale of six resort hotels to the Joint Venture 80% owned by an affiliate of Starwood Capital Group and 20% by Meliá, amounting to € 178.2 M, and the sales of the 875-room Calas de Mallorca resort for €23.6 M and the 450-room Sol Falco in Menorca for €20 mn. Meliá highlights the fact that all of these assets remain under Company management, confirmation of its strategy of alliances and asset repositioning to generate greater value and profitability, all within the "asset-light" strategy of the hotel group, and confirming once again the successful re-launch of the Sol brand in 4 innovative hotel concepts: Sol, Sol House, Sol Beach house, and Sol Katmandu.

With a view to 2016, the group estimates overall RevPAR growth of medium-high single digit figure for the first quarter and a medium single digit figure for the full year.

Improvements in all regions

In the Americas, revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased by 20.6% thanks to a rise in average daily rate (ARR) of 21.3%, affected by the adjustments in the exchange rate of the Venezuelan Bolivar. If the effect of Venezuela is discounted, RevPAR would have increased by 24.6% (3.8% in dollar terms). Excellent growth was achieved by the resorts in México ( +27,7%RevPAR) and the Dominican Republic (+24,5%RevPAR).
Regarding the outlook for 2016, the Company expects to outperform 2015 thanks to rate increases in resorts, the positive reception of the newly built Meliá Braco Village in Jamaica, and the imminent opening in early March of two flagship hotels in North America: the Innside Nomad New York and the ME Miami.

In EMEA (includes Premium Hotels in Spain), RevPAR in owned and leased Hotels grew by 11.2%, 100% explained by increases in prices, with a notable performance in France, thanks to the resilience of the Meliá Paris La Defense- despite the impact of the terrorist attacks of 13 November, a solid performance in Germany, a exceptionally good results in Italy –specially in Milano, with the Melia Milano and the ME Milano il Duca- and in Rome, with the Gran Meliá Rome. The UK completed a challenging year, returning to growth in the 4th quarter with a RevPAR increase of 1.4% thanks to the evolution of the Melia White House and, above all, the ME London, which achieved an ARR in the region of 300 Pounds.

Regarding the Spanish Premium hotels, the excellent evolution of the urban hotels of Madrid (Gran Melia Fenix, +22%), Barcelona (Meliá Barcelona Sky, +14%) led to a consistent growth of 15% in Revenues in the 4th quarter, and the Gran Meliá Palacio de Isora resort, in Tenerife, increased by 23% its 4th quarter RevPAR.

Regarding the outlook for 2016, Meliá expects an improvement in Germany and Vienna due to a strong year for trade fairs and congresses, the consolidation of the ME London and the progressive positioning of the Innside Manchester in the UK, as well as positive expectations for hotels in Italy. In France, the spectacular evolution of the Meliá Paris La Defense will offset the slowdown in Paris city centre hotels, still affected by the attacks in November 2015.

In the Mediterranean Division, RevPAR grew by 8.7%, almost all (7.5%) due to price increases. The fourth-quarter growth in the division is focused on the Canary Islands, which in 2015 saw record results for the period, further intensified after the most recent differences between Russia and Turkey, and also after the addition of a new luxury hotel in Tenerife, the Melia Hacienda del Conde. The geopolitical situation in other destinations also had an impact on the hospitality industry in Cape Verde, where Meliá manages about 1,500 rooms.

With regard to the outlook for 2016, a positive performance is expected, benefiting from the perception of the Spanish coast and islands as "safe havens" compared to alternative destinations where a situation of instability unfortunately remains, such as in the north of Africa. Performance will also be positively influenced by the renovation and repositioning carried out by the Group in numerous resorts in the Balearic Islands. In the Canary Islands, in addition to the positive impact of the addition of the Sol Costa Atlantis and Meliá Hacienda del Conde on the island of Tenerife, there is also a forecast increase in flights to the islands of Fuerteventura, Lanzarote and La Palma, in all of which the Group has hotels .

The division Spain (City hotels excluding the Premium ones) reports an increase in RevPAR of 13.1%, mainly attributable to the consistent recovery in all market segments which allowed Meliá maintain its leadership in "bleisure" destinations which focus both on business and leisure travellers, thanks to its experience and expertise in the urban and leisure segments. If considering all the City hotels in Spain, the RevPAR increased by 17,5%. Madrid kept up the upward trend of recent quarters, with improvements in the leisure, business and MICE (Meetings & Incentives) segments, whilst hotels in northern Spain benefited from atypical weather conditions in the region and increased flight frequencies and better sales management. In the south there were strong performances from hotels in Marbella, Cadiz, Granada and Seville, which benefited from a good year in terms of events and congresses.

In eastern Spain there was a positive 4th quarter, especially in Catalonia, Valencia and Palma de Mallorca, and particularly noticeable in the MICE segment, with a significant increase compared to 2014 (Meliá Valencia +14.1%, Melia Sitges +11.5%, Melia Palas Atenea +9.6%) and the Alicante area in general.

Regarding the outlook for 2016, sales in Spain saw improvements in the first quarter, both in first and second tier cities.The Meliá portfolio in Spanish cities will be further enhanced by ongoing renovations at hotels such as the Melia Lebreros (Seville), Tryp Apolo (Barcelona), and the former Tryp Ambassador, now rebranded as the Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques. Despite uncertainty about political stability in the country after the elections, we expect a continuation of the recovery of the Spanish domestic market.

About Meliá Hotels International

Founded in 1956 in Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Meliá Hotels International is one of the largest hotel companies worldwide as well as the absolute leader within the Spanish market, with more than 370 hotels (current portfolio and pipeline) throughout more than 41 countries and 4 continents under the brands: Gran Meliá, Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Paradisus Resorts, ME by Meliá, Innside by Meliá, Tryp by Wyndham and Sol Hoteles. The strategic focus on international growth has allowed Meliá Hotels International to be the first Spanish hotel company with presence in key markets such as China, the Arabian Gulf or the US, as well as maintaining its leadership in traditional markets such as Europe, Latin America or the Caribbean. Its high degree of globalization, a diversified business model, the consistent growth plan supported by strategic alliances with major investors and its commitment to responsible tourism are the major strengths of Meliá Hotels International, being for the third consecutive year the Spanish Tourism leader in Corporate Reputation (Merco Ranking) and one of the most attractive to work worldwide.

CONTACT: Dominique Barchus Publicity Assistant T: 212.981.5133 261 Fifth Avenue, 2FL New York, NY 10016

Source: Melia Hotels International