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Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: David Guile, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts

01 July 2011
Caterer and Hotelkeeper 100: David Guile, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts

Overall ranking: 90 (ranked 97 in 2010)

Hotel ranking: 18 (ranked 24 in 2010)

David Guile - Snapshot

David Guile is the chief executive of Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, the privately owned company co-founded by executive director Donald Macdonald which operates more than 40 hotels across the UK and ten resorts throughout the UK and Spain. Altogether, the company employs more than 4,000 staff and operates in excess of 3,900 hotel rooms.

David Guile - Career guide

Guile started his hotel career in 1985 as a trainee manager for Forte, working in the Crest hotel at Gatwick. He took a variety of roles across England before landing the role of general manager at Forte Posthouse's flagship hotel in Hemel Hempstead in 1994.

Two years later Guile was promoted to regional director for the East of England at the 65-strong Heritage Hotels division after Forte had succumbed to Granada's hostile takeover.

In 2000 Macdonald Hotels offered Guile the post of regional managing director for the South of England. He was promoted to the role of deputy chief executive in March 2006 and joined the group's main board three months later. He was made chief executive in 2008.

Guile has both an HND and an MBA in business studies and tourism.

David Guile - What we think

Without doubt, Guile has contributed to a turnaround in the perception of Macdonald Hotels from run-of-the-mill company to one that means business.

Macdonald was founded in 1990 by executive chairman Donald Macdonald and colleagues including Donald Macdonald, David and Sandy Orr.

After floating the group in 1996, Macdonald bought back the company in 2003 for £620m in Scotland's largest privatisation deal to date and changed his role from chief executive to executive chairman.

In 2007, Macdonald sold 24 hotels to Moorfield Real Estate for more than £400m, providing a profit over book value of £126m creating further funds to establish a solid footing in the four- and five-star markets.

By 2008 Guile's work in developing the brand took on more weight when he was made chief executive after overseeing the development of two new-build hotels at a cost of £60m and the £200m investment programme in the company's hotels including £30m for developing the food and beverage operation at 35 hotels, generating 44 AA rosettes to date.

In 2009 the company rescued the iconic £130m Aviemore Highland Resort in the Scottish Highlands, where it had a management contract, from administration. It secured financial backing to purchase the resort outright and complete an £80m refurbishment project.

In 2010 Macdonald Hotels and Lloyds Banking Group agreed a new £340m debt facility to enable further investment on its portfolio.

Latest results for the year ended 1 October 2009 show that despite challenging trading conditions and a 5% reduction in group turnover to £128m, group operating profit before depreciation was up 16% to £25.7m generating an operating cashflow of £10.7m. The profit after tax for the year was £5.1m.

For the 12 months to September 2010 like for like sales were up 4%, with operating profit up 10%.

Guile has also introduced the Stairway to Success programme to help develop staff, and a new Loyalty Club for customers. September 2010 saw the opening of a new five star 120 bedroom boutique hotel in Windsor and a new management contract was signed for the Manchester Townhouse.

A £5m development at the Macdonald Inchyra Grange Hotel near Falkirk was recently completed and there are plans to open three further new concept restaurants this year, including Aiden Byrne's British Grill at the Craxton Wood hotel near Chester (29 July). However, his desire to add a 'London property' to the group still eludes him.

David Guile's ranking in the 2010 Caterersearch.com 100 >>

Aiden Byrne to launch British Grill at Macdonald Hotel Craxton >>

Macdonald back to profit as it secures new £340m debt >>

Macdonald Hotels names David Guile as new chief executive >>

Macdonald Hotels opens new property in Windsor >>

Macdonald Hotels hunting for London property >>

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts website >>

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