• Steigenberger pushes for growth

Steigenberger, the family owned Frankfurt-based chain, is pushing to outgrow its domestic roots and become an international player in the hotel industry.

Last year it opened a property in Luxor in Egypt and this year one of the four properties it is opening will be in Vienna.

The challenge for the 82-strong German chain is establishing itself as a credible brand on the European stage and it has earmarked an additional Eu100m on top of the Eu150m it is has spent on expansion since 2005.

EBITDA in 2007 was up 64.6% to Eu15.8m thanks to revpar up 3.9% to Eu55.44 from sales up 5.6% to Eu484.4m. The company currently has no net debt and is funding its expansion out of existing cash flow.

A key factor in Steigenberger's emergence as an international player is a viable distribution platform and towards the end of last year it contracted Pegasus Solutions, the world's largest third party reservation and marketing provider, to implement this.

The fate of companies like Steigenberger will be part of the bigger picture of how the European hotel market shakes out in the years ahead. Only by absorbing national chains like Steigenberger will the big brands be able to make rapid and significant progress across the continent.

The bad news, from the big brands point of view, is that there appears little immediate pressure on the likes of Steigenberger to roll over.

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