U City outlines expansion

BANGKOK, 21 November 2019: Following the acquisition of 19 hotels in Germany and Switzerland earlier this year, U City PLC. is optimistic that the acquisition will help Vienna House (VH)  to ultimately expand the brand in Asia.

The largest hotel group in Austria will continue to cement its position in Europe while looking to Asia in the future.

U City Public Company Limited chief executive officer, Piyaporn Phanachet, noted that U City PLC invested over THB890 million (EUR24.7 million) to acquire 19 hotels of which 17 are operational, and two are in the pipeline through its subsidiary, Vienna House Germany II GmbH.

This asset portfolio comprises of boutique properties from the “Arcona” hotel group and five hotels under the Steigenberger brand that are located at prime locations in various UNESCO historical sites across Germany.

All properties will eventually be managed under the Vienna House brand. This new addition brings U City hotel portfolio to 57 hotels (9,210 keys), owned in the form of both freehold and leasehold. 

In addition, the group also manages third-party hotels under brands Vienna House, Vienna House Easy, U, Eastin, and Travelodge. This gives the group 117 hotels (30,000 keys) of which 78 hotels (11,720 keys) are fully operational.

The group aims to explore further business opportunity in Europe, especially catering to business travellers.

“The German market, both inbound and outbound, is one of the most important markets for us. This is the first objective of our expansion apart from the properties’ structures and designs that can fit under the Vienna House brand,” said  Vienna House CEO Rupert Simoner.

Moving forward in 2020 will see the boutique Vienna House brand emerge across several locations in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland; namely Stuttgart, Wetzlar, Osnabruck, Munich, Bremen, Schaffhausen, Leipzig, Baden-Baden, Potsdam, Berlin, Stralsund, Rostock, Braunschweig, Wismar and Eisenach. These properties will all be converted under Vienna House’s sub-brands: Vienna House, Vienna House Easy, and Vienna Townhouse; by beginning 2020.

On the expansion outlook, Vienna House is forecasting a 7 to 9% growth annually and plans to add five properties annually.

“Asia is a fast-growing market, and with our strong partner, U City, we now have offices in Asia…  we will have one or two flagship development of Vienna House in Asian cities,” added Simoner.

“As a shareholder, we are delighted to see the Vienna House succeed, but this is just a starting point…We are keen to create synergies, where possible, and support the brands to grow even further.”  Piyaporn added.