Essential news from around the world…
China's hotel market outperforms European average
ABN Amro buys controlling stake in French contract caterer
ABN Amro Capital France has bought a 52% stake in French contract caterer Score Groupe, which operates more than 260 restaurants in companies, retirement homes and private hospitals throughout Paris, the West, the South-west and South of France. The company founders - who were seeking a financial partner to fund expansion into the North and East of France - have retained a 44% stake.
Starwood boosts third-quarter earnings by 25% Starwood Hotels and Resorts boosted its third-quarter earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) by 25% to $291m (£159m). Net income rose from $48m (£26m) to $107m (£58.5m) while turnover increased by 7% to $2.5b (£1.4b). The company (whose brands include Sheraton, Westin and W) forecasts a 23% rise in full-year Ebitda to $1.1b (£607m) on a turnover of $5.3b (£2.9m).
Hilton to open first French Worldwide Resort in Evian
Hilton International is to open its first Hilton Worldwide Resort in France in early 2006. The five-star, 173-bedroom Hilton Evian Resort & Spa will overlook the lake in the spa town of Evian. The â¬40m (£27.8m) development is owned by Maltese firm Tumas Group.
New Year restaurant scene undergoes renewal, claims Zagat
New York's restaurant scene has undergone its biggest revolution since the Zagat dining-out guide to the city started in 1979, claims the 26th edition of the book. This year 226 new restaurants opened in the city - 30% more than last year - while just 93 closed. The guide adds that the loss of some of the city's oldest and most famous classic French restaurants has paved the way for a more interesting and innovative generation, especially Asian restaurants.
Blackstone buys Florida's Boca Resorts for $1.25b
US private investment firm Blackstone has bought Boca Resorts of Florida for $1.25b (£678.6m) in a deal expected to be completed by early 2005. Boca Resorts owns and operates five destination resorts in Florida - two under the Hyatt Regency and Radisson brands - which incorporate hotels, conference facilities, golf courses, spas, marinas and private clubs.
McDonald's reports healthy third-quarter growth Fast-food giant McDonald's says its focus on healthy options and menu variety is paying dividends. Net income during the third quarter soared by 42% to $778.4m (£422.6m) while turnover grew by 9% to $4.9m (£2.66b). Like-for-like sales were 5.8% ahead.
Hilton boosts US third-quarter profits by 79%
Hilton Hotels Corporation of the USA boosted third-quarter net income by 79% to $61m (£33m), up from $34m (£18.5m) in the 2003 period. Turnover grew by 9% from $952m (£516.9m) to $1.033b (£561m). Revenue per available room rose at owned properties (which enjoyed a surge in business demand and room rates) and at managed and franchised hotels. The group's timeshare business also recorded a strong quarter.
by Angela Frewin
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