• Kingdom shows its emerging credentials

Kingdom Hotel Investments, the listed owner and developer that is mostly exposed to emerging markets, is expecting system revpar to remain strong in 2008.

The company, which is controlled by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed, is also expecting to raise up to $500m of debt this year to fund its development commitments.

The mid-teens revpar forecast is for a portfolio that is mostly spread across Africa, the Middle East and Asia. During 2007 it bought hotels in Malaysia, China, Cambodia and Indonesia. It also announced developments in Vietnam, Philippines and the Seychelles.

Between 2004 and 2007, the compound annual growth rate has been 40% in room numbers and 93% in EBITDA (from 1,771 rooms to 4,895 and from $9m to $68m).

A key feature of profits growth has been ancillary real estate developed and sold adjacent to the new hotels. For example, the company realised $9.7m from its share of gains from real estate sales at its two Four Seasons properties in Egypt.

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