Boris Ivesha has been President and Chief Executive Officer of PPHE Hotel Group since 1991. Mr. Ivesha was responsible for bringing the Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts® brand to the PPHE Hotel Group in 1994 in collaboration with Eli Papouchado and the Red Sea Group, and has been a major influencer in the expansion of the PPHE Hotel Group’s international portfolio. In previous roles, Boris established the Yamit Hotel in Israel in 1984 and served as its President and was Director of the Carlton Hotel in Israel from 1979 until 1984 and General Manager of the Royal Horseguards Hotel in London from 1972 until 1979.
We are an international, dynamic hospitality company which owns, co-owns, leases, operates and develops full-service upscale, upper upscale and lifestyle hotels, self-catering holiday apartment complexes and campsites primarily in Croatia, Germany and Hungary. In addition to operating and developing our own brands, Arena Hotels & Apartments® and Arena Campsites®, through our majority shareholder PPHE Hotel Group Limited (‘PPHE Hotel Group’ or ‘PPHE’) we have the exclusive right to operate and develop the international Park Plaza® brand in 18 countries in the Central and Eastern European region (the ‘CEE region’) and to manage certain art’otel® branded properties, enabling us to further grow our presence.
CHAIRMAN OF THE SUPERVISORY BOARD
We are pleased to report our results for the year ended 31 December 2019. Arena Hospitality Group d.d. (“the Company”) and its consolidated subsidiaries (“the Group”) performed in line with the Supervisory Board’s expectations. The results were particularly pleasing when put in context of strong competition and increased operating costs in our sector, demonstrating the resilience of the business. The year was one of intensified investments for the Company, laying the foundations for the future growth of the business. In 2019 we invested HRK 240.7 million, an increase of 68.0% on 2018 (HRK 143.3 million). These investments were to upgrade and improve existing rooms, facilities and public areas, with a particular focus on Croatia. This investment programme will continue into 2020 and 2021, with a further HRK 340 million committed to the improvement of our portfolio. As part of our city focused expansion, we successfully secured the lease renewal for art’otel budapest, and in April 2019 we entered into a framework agreement to acquire the 4-star 88 Rooms Hotel, just minutes from the historic old town of Belgrade, Serbia for HRK 47.0 million. We are expecting to close this transaction during the first half of 2020. In addition, in January 2020 we entered into a long-term 45 years lease to develop a hotel in the historic city centre of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.
WHAT WE DO
Since our transformation in 2016 from a Croatian domestic and locally focused company to an international dynamic hospitality group, our primary objectives are to further grow our profile in the upscale, upper upscale and lifestyle market segments in the CEE region, whilst striving to create and realise shareholder value. Our brand portfolio consisting of Park Plaza®, art’otel®, Arena Hotels & Apartments® and Arena Campsites®, across the CEE region, provides us with excellent growth opportunities.
HOW WE DO IT
Our portfolio includes 26 owned, co-owned, leased and managed properties in operation with over 10,000 units located in select resort destinations in Istria, Croatia and major cities in the CEE region such as Berlin, Cologne, Nuremberg and Budapest. Our revenue is generated from different market segments which is made up of predominantly holidaymakers in Croatia as well as a diversified business mix in Germany and Hungary, where our portfolio caters for both business and leisure travellers, as well as conference and trade fair delegates.
A DIVERSE PORTFOLIO
OUR BUSINESS AT A GLANCE
We are an international, dynamic hospitality owner, operator company with a strong asset base and access to multiple brands and a global distribution network through our majority shareholder, PPHE Hotel Group. Our approach means that we fully understand the hospitality industry from both an owner and operator perspective and have the power that international brands bring.
Located in one of Croatia’s most prominent tourist regions; Istria, our diverse accommodation offering includes hotels, self-catering holiday apartment complexes as well as campsites, and provides guests with a wide choice of locations in Pula and Medulin. Over the years, Croatia has become a popular leisure destination, showing year-on-year growth in overnight stays. With over 40 years of experience in this market, we have an unrivalled expertise in providing great value accommodation with inspirational service in areas of natural beauty.
Our hotels in Germany are located in major gateway cities, such as Berlin and Cologne, which operate on a year-round basis and have a balanced mix of business and leisure guests. The hotels are located in prime city-centre locations with a high footfall of conference, leisure and business guests.
Located in Hungary’s capital city Budapest, which is a popular tourist destination, art’otel budapest is situated in a prime location overlooking the River Danube and the magnificent premises of the Hungarian Parliament.
TRUSTED, RECOGNISED BRANDS WITH REAL POWER
WE ARE CONFIDENT IN THE POWER THAT TRUSTED AND RECOGNISED BRANDS OFFER, DELIVERED THROUGH A BESPOKE APPROACH. OUR FOUR CORE BRANDS, PARK PLAZA, ART’OTEL, ARENA HOTELS & APARTMENTS, AND ARENA CAMPSITES COMPLEMENT THIS AND ARE VIBRANT, UNIQUE AND CONTINUALLY EVOLVING.
Park Plaza is an upscale and upper upscale contemporary hotel brand featuring individually designed hotels in vibrant city centre locations and resort destinations. Park Plaza is renowned for creating memorable moments through its inspiring service, stylish guest rooms and versatile meeting facilities which are perfectly complemented by award-winning restaurants and bars.parkplaza.com
art’otel is a contemporary collection of upper upscale lifestyle hotels that fuse exceptional architectural style with art-inspired interiors. Located in cosmopolitan centres across Europe, each hotel displays a collection of original works designed or acquired specifically for each art’otel®, with each property offering a unique art gallery. art’otel® has created a niche for itself in the hotel world, differentiating it from traditional hotels.artotels.com
Arena Hotels & Apartments is a collection of hotels and self-catering apartment complexes offering relaxed and comfortable accommodation within beachfront locations across the historic settings of Pula and Medulin in Istria, Croatia. Arena Hotels & Apartments features contemporary and warm design/interiors accompanied by a welcoming and friendly service offering a holiday full of opportunities for exploration and relaxation complemented by food and drink offering with a touch of local flavor. Arena Hotels & Apartments is your destination host and guide, a home away from home catering for families, couples and friends.arenahotels.com
Arena Campsites® is a brand of both authentic and premium campsites located in exclusive beachfront sites in preserved natural surroundings. They are situated along the very south of the Istrian peninsula within proximity of the historic towns of Pula and Medulin, stretching from the Brijuni National Park in the west, all the way to a picturesque Medulin Bay and Cape Kamenjak on the south. Each campsite provides a distinctive offering and relaxed environment from which guests can experience Istria’s areas of natural beauty and enjoy outdoor activities from April to October.arenacampsites.com
PRESIDENT OF THE MANAGEMENT BOARD’S STATEMENT
TOTAL REVENUE778.1 M
EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT INDEX83.8 %
OUR TEAM MEMBERS ARE ‘CREATORS’ AND PLAY A PIVOTAL ROLE IN DELIVERING OUR STRATEGY
INTERNATIONAL DYNAMIC PROFILE
We are pleased to report another year of progress in a year of significant investment in our business. In 2019, the Company sustained a high level of occupancy and grew revenues despite increased competition from markets such as Turkey, Greece and Northern African countries. Our sector also faced several localised and industry-wide challenges including a labour shortage for seasonal workers and increased operating costs. Put in this context, our performance highlights the benefit of our investment programme to improve our offer and market position, demonstrating the resilience of the business.Financial performance
Reported revenue for the year increased by 2.7% to HRK 778.1 million (2018: HRK 757.7 million), a good result when compared to the strong performance of the previous year. Revenue growth from our luxury camping operations was particularly pleasing given a late season opening of Arena Kažela Campsite, which was delayed because the weather in the spring put back the completion of construction works. Accommodation revenue grew by 3.7% to HRK 637.7 million (2018: HRK 615.1 million) driven by a 100 bps improvement in occupancy to 55.1% and a 5.2% increase in the average daily rate to HRK 606.2. Whilst pleasing, this growth was slightly hindered by our need to provide team members’ accommodation within our own facilities, thus reducing the total numbers of rooms available to guests during the peak season.Reported EBITDA improved by 6.9% to HRK 229.5 million (2018: HRK 214.7 million) with a respective margin of 29.5% (2018: 28.3%). However this result benefited from the application of IFRS 16 and on a like-for-like basis, EBITDA reduced by 3.7% to HRK 206.7 million. The most significant challenge we faced was a domestic workforce deficit in Croatia. An increasing number of local workers are benefitting from employment opportunities accross Europe. This results in less avaiability of employees and thus greater competition for seasonal workers as well as a wage inflation. To ensure continuous and consistent service delivery to our guests, we were required to engage workers from outside Croatia. These externally resourced employees often required staff accommodation. In addition, we faced increased share of commission expenses from online travel agents who took advantage of the vacuum created by changes in the wholesale market and our shift in segmentation arising from new investments as well as business decisions.Our strategy
We believe that our strategy to constantly improve our portfolio in order to optimise value and refresh guest experiences, whilst maintaining tight control of our operating margins, will create the best value to all our shareholders and wider stakeholders. In parallel, our strategy to expand our presence in the CEE region, including the acquisition of city hotels to complement the seasonal Croatian operations, will support growth and help us to further stabilise our earnings through the year. Our latest HRK 47.0 million acquisition target in Belgrade, Serbia, marks our expansion into new territories. The 88 Rooms Hotel is ideally positioned near the old town city centre and offers a restaurant, bar, conference room and fitness facility and has significant upside potential. The Company expects to fully take over the property during the first half of 2020. Further more, in the first quarter of the beginning of 2020, we entered into a 45 year lease agreement with regards to a property in the centre of Zagreb, Croatia’s capital. The property is developed into a 115 rooms hotel and expected to become operational within the coming 24 months. We believe we have a unique position in terms of operating in the various countries of the CEE region and there are distinct synergies on various levels, including our ability to offer year-round employment opportunities to an increasing number of team members.2019 Investments
In line with our strategy, we invested HRK 240.7 million into our existing properties in 2019. The largest investment was made into the Arena Kažela Campsite, with phase one completed in readiness for the summer season 2019 and phase two now in progress. The phase one development included the placement of 164 premium mobile homes and equipment, the redevelopment of the reception area, the creation of two swimming pools, a new bar, a coffee shop and a relaxation area. Phase two commenced in October 2019 and will include the replacement and upgrade of a further 146 number of mobile homes, the repositioning of pitches, the refurbishment of public areas, the restaurant, bar and sports centre. We conducted a minor refurbishment of ten apartments located at Verudela Beach and performed some infrastructure works before the summer season. We are now progressing with a repositioning programme for the remaining 146 apartments at Verudela Beach. In Arena One 99 Glamping 10 new tents were added with the total number of units increased to 193. Also, landscaping works and an upgrade to the beachfront were completed. Public area improvements were made to Park Plaza Histria Pula and we refurbished the main swimming pool and the bar area of hotel TUI Sensimar Medulin. We also acquired some land linked to self-catering apartment complexes to consolidate our ownership on the Verudela peninsula. The renewal of the lease of art’otel budapest for a further 20 year period has provided the impetus to invest further into the property.Our people
Over the last year, in conjuction with PPHE Hotel Group, senior executives across the business have worked together to define the Group’s purpose and what this means to our team members. We have set out and communicated to our team members that each and every one in our business is a ‘creator’ and plays a pivotal role in delivering our strategy. This message has been embraced enthusiastically by our team members, and our employee engagement index for the Group has remained high at 83.8 on a scale of 1-100 (2018: 84.1) with an 87% response rate. Our team members are at the heart of our business and in order to attract and retain the best talent it is imperative that we provide training and opportunities that allows them to reach their full potential. We strive to be a best practise employer, offering competitive compensation and benefits. In 2019 we employed nearly 1,500 people, of whom 480 (2018: 467) are permanent employees. We also strive to ensure a gender balance and the current ratio of male to female team members is 47:53. Phase one of the Arena Kažela Campsite investment programme, totalling HRK 164.3 million was completed in readiness for the summer season 2019. During the year a total of 62 training programmes were held and a total of 826 team members received training to ensure that all team members feel they are fully supported, engaged, trained and motivated so we can consistently deliver a high service standard. As described earlier, the hospitality sector is facing real challenges in the labour force, particularly in Croatia where many seasonal workers are now choosing to work outside their native country to gain greater experience and take advantage of the economic benefits offered in northern European countries. In order to maintain our high level of service, in 2019 we recruited additional workers from overseas on a full year contract. Our recruitment programme for 2020 is already well under way. We have also offered 66 new permanent seasonal contracts bringing us to a total of 138 permanent seasonal team members, which ensures our retention rate remains high. In addition to taking actions to recruit team members from other countries, we have also partnered with recruitment agencies in neighbouring countries. The people & culture team together with operational teams will be hosting open days in neighbouring countries in collaboration with local employment agencies.Delivering exceptional experiences
As a business, our purpose is to create valuable memories for our guests in vibrant destinations; we aim to delight our guests every day, through engaging service and quality products in inviting places. The success of our strategy to turn our real estate assets into exceptional products and consistently deliver refreshed guest experiences across our properties is evidenced by the high scores on guest satisfaction we achieved across the portfolio during the year. The significant investment in our Croatian properties has been particularly well received by guests and recognised by the hospitality industry. The Arena Kažela Campsite received considerable praise and was awarded Croatia’s Best Campsite 2020 for the seventh consecutive year. Park Plaza Verudela Pula and Park Plaza Belvedere Medulin both received the Travelers’ Choice Trip Advisor award, for Family Hotel Croatia and Hotel Croatia respectively. In addition, twelve of our properties received the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and four properties in Germany received the GreenLeaders Programme awards. To improve services further we are adopting new front and back of house technology. For example in Park Plaza Belvedere Medulin we are piloting a self-service check in system which allows guests to access their rooms quickly. We are also introducing technology to our laundry services wherewith the laundry process will become more environmental friendly and reduce the workload.Sales and marketing
In response to the challenges faced by tour operators and the effect this has had on the wholesale market and increased share in commissions from travel agencies, we have continued to be focused on generating direct sales and growing Arena’s brand. We launched the new arenacampsites.com and arenahotels.com websites, alongside a web-optimisation programme to improve online search rankings. This has been supported by a media programme to improve brand recognition. We have also been actively promoting our campsite loyalty programme which offers holders on-site discounts and benefits as well as periodic special offers. PPHE’s strategic partnership with Radisson Hotel Group has also helped to support Arena’s direct sales, giving access to a global distribution platform and a range of sales tools and initiatives, including the Radisson Rewards™ and Radisson Rewards™ for Business loyalty programmes which has over 24 million members worldwide and can be used in our Park Plaza branded properties.Investing for future growth
Our current investment plan from 2018 to 2021 commits over HRK 500 million, with the most significant investment in the repositioning of Hotel Brioni Pula. Hotel Brioni Pula will be relaunched as a luxury upscale hotel with 227 rooms in the summer of 2021. The seven floor structure will include an indoor pool, an activity outdoor pool and an infinity outdoor pool, wellness centre with saunas and relaxation rooms, a gym, kids playground, grill and snack bars, a restaurant, meeting and conferencing facilities. We are continuing with our investment in Arena Kažela Campsite by performing a second phase, expected to be completed prior to the summer season 2020. Upon completion of this second phase, the campsite will be a modern 4-star camping resort and will be relaunched as Arena Grand Kažela maintaining its position as the Croatia’s premier campsite. We are also progressing with the larger proportion of our investment programme for the Verudela Beach self-catering apartments in Pula, transforming and repositioning the remaining 146 units of the resort. In conjunction, we are carrying out repositioning works to the Yacht Club restaurant on the Verudela peninsula, along with the refurbishment of public spaces and rooms at hotel Park Plaza Histria Pula.Current trading and outlook
Trading in 2020 has started well and is in line with the Management Board’s expectations. This year will be another year of considerable investment in the business and the construction and refurbishment programmes are now well underway and on schedule. We continue to pursue our strategy to drive growth in the CEE region with a focus on gateway cities and the future addition of new properties in Belgrade and Zagreb will further enhance our offering. With the headwinds faced in 2019 we are even more focused on maintaining and enhancing operational efficiencies, driving direct sales from sales and marketing initiatives. All the while we are constantly focused on providing our guests with memorable experiences through consistently refreshed and improved services alongside creating value in our assets. The outlook for the Group is positive and we are wellpositioned to capitalise on an ambitious growth strategy.
ARENA GRAND KAŽELA CAMPSITE CASE STUDY
Located in one of Croatia’s most popular destinations, Istria, Arena Kažela Campsite is situated on the southern part of Medulin.
ARENA GRAND KAŽELA CAMPSITE CASE STUDY
It is the largest of our eight campsites and offers holidaymakers peace and tranquillity on the edge of the Adriatic Sea, with direct access to a two-kilometre-long beach overlooking the Medulin archipelago and crystal-clear Adriatic Sea. Its stunning location made it the obvious choice to launch a brand-new style of luxury camping homes. The campsite season in Croatia runs between April and November. Following the end of the 2018 season, we immediately began the first of a two-phase two-year investment programme to transform the site and inspire our guests with a new luxury camping offer. The campsite recorded an increase in average daily rate of over 40% and saw revenues increase by more than 30%. We installed 164 new, fully equipped premium and family Camping Homes, which are situated alongside more than 1,000 spacious pitches. The new Mobile Homes have been designed to meet the needs of the modern environment-conscious traveller. Featuring ecological and recycled materials, the accommodation offers 37m2 of interior space, more than 25m2 of covered terrace, as well as 250m2 of a private garden. In addition to the new luxury Camping Homes, our aim is to offer our guests an overall luxurious holiday experience with exceptional facilities. To that end, phase one of the programme included two new swimming pools – a central activity pool with a children’s section and a relaxing infinity pool – new modern pool bars, an Illy coffee shop and a redeveloped reception area. The campsite was unveiled to guests in June 2019 and was well received with high scores on various wellregarded booking channels. This campsite was recognised for the seventh consecutive year when it listed amongst ‘Croatia’s Best Campsites 2020’ by the Croatian Camping Union. The site was also awarded 4.5 out of 5 stars for 2019 from the ANWB campsite inspectors. In total we plan to invest approximately HRK 200 million to fully reposition this successful site and create a new benchmark for the camping experience. During 2019 we invested HRK 164.3 million. Phase two of the project will complete in summer 2020. The performance during the season was encouraging and in line with management’s expectations. The campsite recorded an increase in average daily rate of over 40% and saw revenues increase by more than 30%.
THE GROUP’S CAPITAL INVESTMENTS IN 2019
In 2019, the Group invested a total of HRK 240.7 million in upgrading campsites, self-catering holiday apartment complexes.
THE GROUP’S CAPITAL INVESTMENTS IN 2019
The pivotal investment was the commencement of the two phase repositioning of our largest campsite, Arena Kažela Campsite. In 2019 the Group invested HRK 164.3 million in phase one of the project and the start of the second phase. The refurbishment during phase one consisted of the acquisition and placement of 164 premium mobile homes, redevelopment of the reception area, opening of two swimming pools which include an activity and a relaxation area, an Illy coffee shop and an animation/ games area for the youngsters. The repositioning of the Group’s second (out of four) self-catering apartment complex Verudela Beach started and repositioning of the first 10 apartments was completed and successfully tested during the 2019 season. Arena One 99 Glamping was further enhanced ahead of the 2019 season with the addition of 10 new glamping tents, improved landscaping and an upgrade of the beachfront. Other investments during the year in preparation for the 2019 season included upgrading the outdoor furniture and decking at Park Plaza Histria Pula, refurbishment of TUI Sensimar Medulin main swimming pool and the introduction of a new bar, and the acquisition of land on and around Zlatne Stijene, Verudela Beach and Park Plaza Verudela Pula self-catering apartment complexes. Finally, in collaboration with the city of Pula, the tourism board and several local artists, on the initiation of the Company, an artpark has been created on the Verudela peninsula, to complement further guests’ offering and experience. In 2019, total investment increased 68.0% year-on-year to HRK 240.7M.
THE GROUP’S PLANNED CAPITAL INVESTMENTS
The group’s planned capital investments in Croatia, Germany & Hungary and other growth opportunities.
THE GROUP’S PLANNED CAPITAL INVESTMENTS
2019 saw the Group invest HRK 240.7 million in its property portfolio. This included the first phase of investment in Arena Kažela Campsite and the repositioning of the first 10 units at the self-catering apartment resort, Verudela Beach. 2020 will see at further intensification of the Group’s investment programme. The repositioning investment programme at Arena Kažela Campsite will enter the second phase, which will transform this campsite into a modern 4 star camping resort and on completion it will be renamed and relaunched as Arena Grand Kažela Campsite. The second phase of the programme will include a further replacement of 45 mobile homes, repositioning of pitches (which will benefit from improved infrastructure, in prime seaside with an average size of 150 m2), refurbishment of public areas, a restaurant, bar and the sports centre. On completion, the total investment Arena Kažela Campsite will amount to approximately HRK 200.0 million and will be rated as a four star campsite. The Group continues its planned investment in the Verudela Beach self-catering apartment resort, where the remaining 146 units of the resort will be fully repositioned. Verudela Beach will be the Group’s second repositioned apartment resort (with Park Plaza Verudela Pula repositioned in 2013), out of the Group’s four selfcatering apartment complexes. The total refurbishment investment is expected to be approximately HRK 60.0 million. The Group is pleased to report that the repositioning of Hotel Brioni started at the beginning of 2020 and it plans to reopen the property in the summer of 2021. The hotel, which was built in early 1970’, was the most prominent hotel in former Yugoslavia and many wellknown personalities (politicians, artist, actors. etc) stayed at the hotel. Hotel Brioni will be repositioned into a luxury upscale hotel with 227 rooms and will build upon the hotel’s iconic building status and reputation, with the ambition for it to become the most luxurious hotel in Pula and the surrounding area. The hotel, which has seven floors, will include an indoor pool, an activity and an infinity outdoor pools, wellness centre with saunas and relaxation rooms, a gym, kids playground, grill and snack bars, a restaurant, meeting and conferencing facilities. The investment will total approximately HRK 240.0 million. The restaurant Yacht Club on the Verudela peninsula will be repositioned into an upscale restaurant. Finally, the public spaces and rooms in our hotel Park Plaza Histria Pula will be refurbished.
GERMANY AND HUNGARY
In Germany, due to challenges encountered with certain technical aspects and negotiation with contractors for the envisioned refurbishment of art’otel berlin kudamm, the Group is reassessing this investment. Meanwhile, it is also considering other investments across the portfolio. In Hungary, the plans for the refurbishment of the public spaces of art’otel budapest are in its final stages. The investments above are in line with the Group’s previously announced plans and fall within the strategic investment plan of over HRK half a billion, the key driver of growth in 2020 and beyond.
OTHER GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES Additionally, the Group has plans to continue refurbishing Zlatne Stijene Resorts Pula, Arena Stoja Campsite and is considering further investments across its portfolio overall. In parallel it will continue to identify and review potential expansion opportunities in Croatia and the CEE region.
Boris IveshaCHAIRMAN OF THE SUPERVISORY BOARD Skills and Experience
Yoav PapouchadoVICE CHAIRMAN OF THE SUPERVISORY BOARD Skills and Experience
Yoav Papouchado is Chairman of the Board of Red Sea Hotels Limited and has been since 1998. Red Sea Hotels Limited is a group of real-estate companies operating worldwide. Mr. Papouchado holds an MBA as well as a BA in Economics from the Tel-Aviv University.
Kevin McAuliffeSUPERVISORY BOARD MEMBER Skills and Experience
Kevin Michael McAuliffe, is the Non-Executive Deputy Chairman of the Group. He was a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners for 20 years and has held directorships in various regulated investment companies and remains a director of two regulated entities. Retired Chairman of Carey Group (after joining as Chief Executive in 1999), he was also Head of Advisory Services for Paribas International Private Banking and Managing Director of Paribas Suisse in Guernsey (1992-1999). He served as Finance Director of Ansbacher offshore banking group and was appointed as Chief Executive of Ansbacher’s Guernsey bank and trust company business in 1994. He also held posts in three different departments in the States of Guernsey (1973-1980).
Abraham ThomasSUPERVISORY BOARD MEMBER Skills and Experience
Abraham Thomas, formerly Vice President Financial Control of PPHE Hotel Group, has 35 years’ experience working in the hotel/leisure business. He previously worked in the Finance Department of PPHE Hotel Group, first as Financial Controller of Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam in 1993 and then in supporting the growth of the PPHE Hotel Group to its present structure.
Amra PendeSUPERVISORY BOARD MEMBER Skills and Experience
Amra Pende is currently legal counsel at Uljanik d.d. where she has worked since 1986. Ms. Pende has acted as the Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Uljanik Plovidba d.d. for the last twelve years and for the last three years has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Pula Film Festival. Ms. Pende has a law degree from the University of Zagreb.
Lorena ŠkuflićSUPERVISORY BOARD MEMBER Skills and Experience
Lorena Škuflić is a professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb and in several mandates has been the Head of the Department of Economic Theory. Since 2018 she has been a Dean of Finance and Business of the Faculty of Economics in Zagreb. Prior to this, Ms. Škuflić was employed at the Croatian Chamber of Economy – County Chamber Pula and also with the Institute of Economics, Zagreb. Ms. Škuflić obtained her PhD in economics at the University of Rijeka in 1999. Ms. Škuflić is a member of boards at the Faculty of Economics and Business, the University of Zagreb and the Ministry of Science and Education, as well as a member of different associations.
Damir LučićSUPERVISORY BOARD MEMBER Skills and Experience
Mr Damir Lučić has been an employee of the Company since 1979, and is the member of the Company’s Works Council and also the trade union representative. He has for years had a very active role in representing interests of employees in the Company.
Reuel (‘Reli’) SlonimPRESIDENT OF THE MANAGEMENT BOARD Skills and Experience
Reuel Slonim joined Arena Hospitality Group as Executive Director in 2008. His previous role was as Vice President of Operations & Development and board member of Isrotel Hotels and Resorts, one of Israel’s leading hospitality companies. Prior to that, Mr Slonim was Vice President Marketing & Sales after having served for ten years as General Manager of 5-Star resort hotels. Since joining Arena Hospitality Group in 2008, he has led a programme of major transformations which include the renovation, upgrading and rebranding of six properties (1,200 rooms) and the growth in EBITDA from €4.0 million in 2008 to €29.0 million in 2018. At the same time, several of the Group’s IT systems were updated and a management and training culture has been introduced, which has resulted in Arena Hospitality Group being recognised as a leading hospitality company in Croatia. Mr Slonim is an active member of the Pula and Medulin Tourist Board, in the community of Medulin and city of Pula and in culture and sports associations.
Devansh BakshiMEMBER OF THE MANAGEMENT BOARD (FROM 1 FEBRUARY 2019) Skills and Experience
Devansh Bakshi obtained a Hotel Management degree and started his hospitality career in hotel operations working for Taj Group of Hotels for four years. He then completed his Master of Business Administration in International Business before joining the Finance department at Hilton Hotels Worldwide. He worked for Hilton in London UK for over 10 years, latterly as the Cluster Finance Director. In 2011, Mr. Bakshi subsequently joined the PPHE Hotel Group and worked for over five years as a Regional Financial Controller for the UK region leading a portfolio of owned, managed and franchised hotel finance operations. Mr. Bakshi recently worked as Group Finance Director for Arora Group, which is a diverse real estate business managing hotels, construction and commercial property portfolio in the UK. He is a qualified Chartered Global Management Accountant and Fellow Member of the UK Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He is also a Financial Management Certified Associate Member of Hospitality Professionals Association in the UK. With over 23 years of experience in the hotel industry covering multiple finance disciplines he brings a wealth of industry experience.
Manuela KraljevićMEMBER OF THE MANAGEMENT BOARD AND MARKETING AND SALES DIRECTOR Skills and Experience
Manuela Kraljević joined Arena Hospitality Group as Sales and Marketing Director in January 2009. During her previous appointment, Mrs Kraljević covered for six years, the position of Sales and Marketing Director in Croatia, for the renowned hotel chain Sol Melia. Previously to that, for the same company, she was the Contracting Director for both Istraturist Umag and Jadranturist Rovinj for four years. Since joining Arena Hospitality Group in 2009, she has repositioned seven upgraded properties, directed the development of a modern sales and marketing department and the introduction of revenue and yield management, the growth of new digital and online business, the introduction and launch of new technical hotel innovation. Under her leadership, developing and directing marketing and sales strategies for 14 hotels and 12 camping and resorts, Arena Hospitality Group is now gaining market share and penetration in Germany, Hungary and Croatia. Mrs Kraljević has been a Member of the Istrian Tourism Marketing Director’s Board since 2003. Her marketing achievements have been recognised with four Golden Goat Awards.