Wednesday 18 September 2019

European growth to push Prem past €100m mark

PREM Group CEO Jim Murphy. Picture: Naoise Culhane
PREM Group CEO Jim Murphy. Picture: Naoise Culhane

Fearghal O'Connor

The Prem Group plans to acquire another hotel operating business similar in size to itself as part of an ambitious European expansion plan that will see it break through the €100m turnover mark within two years.

This year, the group, which leases, owns or manages 38 hotels in Ireland, the UK and northern Europe, will post a turnover of more than €70m, almost seven times what it was just six years ago, said its CEO Jim Murphy in an interview with the Sunday Independent.

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It has not yet identified a takeover target that it could bolt on, said Murphy, but next year Prem Group will open a 114-suite property near Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport and, in 2021, it is to open Holiday Inn Express properties in Antwerp and Brussels Airport.

"We are currently looking at an opportunity in Berlin in Germany," he said, while new opportunities are also on the cards in the Haag, Utrecht, and Maastricht in Belgium.

The company is investing in capital projects at a number of its Irish hotels, but Murphy said that the group is not looking to expand further within Dublin at the moment.

"The market is changing and getting very hot so the likelihood is that we won't do anything else in Dublin for a while," he said.

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