WHO WE ARE
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 in Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Serbia and Austria. We operate and develop our own brands, Arena Hotels & Apartments® and Arena Campsites®. In addition, through our majority shareholder PPHE Hotel Group Limited (PPHE Hotel Group) 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” – see the definition in the Glossary section) and Germany and right to manage art’otel branded properties, allowing us to further grow our presence.
WHAT WE DO
Since 2016 the Group has transformed from a Croatian domestic and locally focused company to an international dynamic hospitality group. Our primary objective is to further grow our profile in the upscale, upper upscale and lifestyle market segments in the CEE region and Germany, whilst striving to create and realise shareholder value. Our brand portfolio, consisting of Park Plaza®, art’otel®, Arena Hotels & Apartments® and Arena Campsites® brands, situated across the CEE region, provides us with excellent growth opportunities.
HOW WE DO IT
Our portfolio includes 29 owned, co-owned, leased and managed properties in operation with over 10,000 units located in selected resort destinations in Istria (Croatia) and Nassfeld (Austria), and major cities in the CEE and Germany region such as Belgrade, Berlin, Cologne, Nuremberg and Budapest. Our revenue is generated from different market segments comprising predominantly holidaymakers in Croatia and Austria; a diversified business mix in Germany, Hungary and Serbia. where our portfolio caters for both business and leisure travellers; as well as conference and trade fair delegates.more on corporative website
Key Higlights of the Group
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OUR BUSINESS AT A GLANCE
A challenging year, yet full of milestones
We are an international, dynamic hospitality owner-operator 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.
CROATIA - 8.549 UNITS
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, Medulin and Zagreb with 118 rooms under development. Croatia has become a popular leisure destination, and 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.
GERMANY - 956 UNITS
Our hotels 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 positioned in prime city-centre locations with a high footfall of conference, leisure and business guests.
HUNGARY - 165 UNITS
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.
SERBIA - 88 UNITS
88 Rooms is located in Takovska Street, close to the business area, with easy access to the Belgrade Fair and cultural area, near the iconic Old town of Belgrade and the Danube riverbank.
AUSTRIA - 144 UNITS
The Group’s first winter resort, FRANZ ferdinand Mountain Resort Nassfeld, is a 4-star hotel in Nassfeld, Austria which complements its existing summer leisure business. This modern mountain resort is superbly located next to the valley station of the Nassfeld Ski Resort in Carinthia, providing instant access to the area’s 110km of slopes.
A ROBUST AND FLEXIBLE BUSINESS MODEL
Chairman of the supervisory board
In 2021, Arena Hospitality Group d.d. (“the Company”) and its consolidated subsidiaries (“the Group”) delivered a strong overall performance, at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic continued to have an impact across the Group. These results were achieved without the usual gradual build up to the summer season in Croatia, at a time when vaccination passports and testing continued to be necessary, and against the backdrop of some countries and territories retaining travel restrictions. Despite ongoing COVID-19 related challenges, our Croatian operation exceeded the Management Board’s expectations in the third quarter, with the aggregate revenue at approximately 93% of the levels achieved in the same period in 2019. There were also signs of recovery in our other operating regions of Germany, Hungary, Serbia and Austria, although this proved tougher than our experience in the leisure-driven Croatian segment.
Our ongoing response to the pandemic in 2021 is a testament to the strong management team and the financial resilience of the Company. We continued to react swiftly to implement processes when needed. In response to localised restrictions, vaccine passport requirements, and operational difficulties around labour shortages. We continued to monitor and improve our hygiene and safety protocols, which helped our properties to operate in accordance with government guidelines while managing and exceeding our guests’ expectations.
The Group significantly improved its operating performance in 2021 and continues to cautiously manage its liquidity and investments, investing HRK 309.6 million during the year. We secured funding in 2020 to drive the repositioning programme of the luxury Hotel Grand Brioni Pula, and I am pleased to report that this project is nearing its final stage.
Our relationship banks have continued to be a great source of support, allowing us to invest, develop and grow in the long-term. In 2021 we secured a new long term financing agreement with Erste Group Bank AG for the acquisition of a hotel in Austria, a new market for the Group. The Group also commenced with the conversion of an office building to art’otel in Zagreb city centre.
The Company understands the importance of shareholder distributions and it takes into account the business, performance, future investment plans and overall business environment when considering the payment of dividends.
Following the strong financial performance in 2021, it is the Company’s intention to resume payment of a dividend as soon as is practicable. Further information is set out in the Member of the Management Board and Chief Financial Officer’s statement.
SHARE BUYBACK AND PERFORMANCE INCENTIVE SCHEME
In January 2020, the Company adopted a Share Award Plan for the purpose of creating a basis for rewarding employees, following the completion of a share buyback scheme, totalling HRK 16.9 million which offered share options to employees as part of the Company’s performance incentive scheme and to attract and retain talent within the business.
As at 31 December 2021 the Company held 45,169 treasury shares, representing 0.9% of the Company’s issued share capital.
In the face of market conditions and challenges experienced due to COVID-19 in 2021, the Supervisory Board is pleased with the performance of our Croatian operations, where the leisure market in the Istrian region exceeded expectations. Germany, Hungary, Serbia also showed signs of improvement, although the pace and consistency of recovery in those markets was varied.
GOVERNANCE, SUPERVISORY AND MANAGEMENT BOARD CHANGES
The Group recognises the important role of corporate governance in the ongoing success of the business and remains committed to maintaining high standards.
During the year, the Supervisory Board separated the Nomination and Remuneration Committee into two separate committees, and it appointed a Company Secretary, further enhancing the separation of duties and the corporate governance within the Company.
In January 2021, we welcomed Mr Goran Nikolić, as the representative of employees in the Supervisory Board of the Company, following the decision by the Workers Council of the Company to change the employees’ representative on the Supervisory Board of the Company. Mr Nikolić has been with the Group for 23 years within the Company’s IT support unit.
The health and safety of our colleagues remains our top priority as we continue to adapt to the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic and its variants. Nearly two years on, and our team continues to adapt and deliver on our guests’ expectations, so I take this opportunity to extend sincere thanks to all of our colleagues across the Group for their hard work and commitment throughout the year.
During 2021 we continued to deliver on our sustainability strategy across our five countries of operation, underpinned by three pillars; people, places and planet, which focus on wellbeing and responsible business practice across our hotels, resorts and campsite operations.
The Company continued to support Pula General Hospital and the Istrian Health Centre and provided accommodation to doctors and specialists during the summer season. As part of our ongoing sustainability initiatives the Group continued to promote waste management, reduction of food waste and recycling and encouraged guests to become actively involved in separating waste in their accommodation. I was pleased to see our continued contributions to the communities in which we operate, highlighting especially our support for selected cultural and sporting events such as the Pula Film Festival, the international maxi cruiser regatta PULA MAXI ON, the Pula Marathon and various other events.
We joined the project “Thousand students – a million experiences” launched by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, and the Croatian Tourism Association, which provides support and holiday experiences to the students of Sisak-Moslavina County which was hit by a devastating earthquake in December 2020. Our response effort included the immediate donation of ten mobile homes to those who needed them most.
Activities related to increasing awareness of children’s rights as part of the “For a stronger family” project implemented with UNICEF continued in 2021, with entertainment-program activities dedicated to important issues around children’s rights, happiness and children’s rights around being able to play.
A POSITIVE OUTLOOK
It was another exceptional year, starting out with the optimism of vaccination programmes which drove the gradual opening up of the global travel industry, and closing with an unexpected new COVID-19 variant in Omicron. If anything, the past 24 months have shown our ability to adapt further, reflecting the strength and flexibility of Arena’s business model. This has been made possible by the drive and tenacity of our wonderful team. Notably, there was pent-up demand among consumers, who demonstrated their longing for the normality of travel in droves. We like to think that Arena, and the wider hospitality industry, has lived up to their expectations by delivering safe and secure experiences. COVID-19 vaccines were rolled in the markets where we operate and beyond; and the Group continued to pursue its growth strategy, investing in high quality assets to deliver value to all stakeholders. I look forward to the year ahead with confidence.
CHAIRMAN OF THE SUPERVISORY BOARD
WELL-INVESTED, TRUSTED AND RECOGNISED BRANDS, UNDERPINNED BY LUXURY
We are confident in the power that trusted and recognised brands offer, delivered through a bespoke approach. Our four core brands, art’otel®, Park Plaza®, Arena Hotels & Apartments®, and Arena Campsites® are mutually complementary, vibrant, unique, and continually evolving.
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 is inspired by a dedicated signature artist, and 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 more traditional peers.artotels.com
Park Plaza is an upper upscale contemporary hotel brand featuring individually designed hotels in vibrant city centre locations and select resort destinations. Renowned for creating memorable moments, Park Plaza caters to both leisure and business travellers through its inspiring service, stylish guest rooms and versatile meeting facilities which are perfectly complemented by award-winning restaurants and bars. PPHE Hotel Group Limited is an international hospitality real estate company. It has an exclusive and perpetual licence from the Radisson Hotel Group, one of the world’s largest hotel groups, to develop and operate Park Plaza® branded hotels and resorts in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.parkplaza.com
Arena Hotels & Apartments is a collection of hotels and self-catering apartment complexes offering relaxed and comfortable accommodation which features contemporary and warm design/interiors, accompanied by a welcoming and friendly service. Each location offers a holiday full of opportunities for exploration and relaxation complemented by food and drink offering with a touch of local flavor. The brand offers beachfront locations across the historic settings of Pula and Medulin in Istria (Croatia), city centre accommodation in Belgrade (Serbia), and a mountain resort in Nassfeld (Austria). Arena Hotels & Apartments is your destination host and guide, a home away from home catering for families, couples and friends.arenahotels.com
Arena Campsites are located in exclusive beachfront sites across the southern coast of Istria, Croatia. Situated within close proximity of the historic towns of Pula and Medulin, 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. Arena Campsite’s portfolio includes Arena One 99 Glamping, Croatia’s first all-glamping site and Arena Grand Kažela Campsite fully repositioned in 2020.arenacampsites.com
STRATEGIC IMPERATIVES IN ACTION
REUEL (‘RELI’) SLONIM
President of the management board
We are pleased to report that 2021 was a year of further strategic progress, coupled with a good recovery in activity, driven by a summer trading in Croatia.
The 2021 financial performance reflected our clear strategic direction and the Group’s ability to navigate the disruption caused by the pandemic. We began the year with an appetite for normality, a clear strategic direction, investment plan, and many projects in the pipeline. As market conditions continued to evolve more positively than in 2020, we benefited from a surge in demand in Croatia, supported by our high quality estate and our recent investment in technology, sales and marketing.
We continued to invest for future growth by investing in our portfolio and we further diversified our operations and extended our presence in the CEE region, acquiring our first hotel in Austria.
2021 IN REVIEW
Most our Croatian operations are highly seasonal, typically, only a small number of our properties remain open off-season or in the weeks leading up to Easter, with bookings taken weeks in advance. However, this was not the case as COVID-19 was still prevalent at the beginning of 2021. Activity levels were low in the first quarter and most of our properties remained closed due to restrictive measures undertaken by the Croatian and other governments.
Nevertheless, during the peak summer months leisure demand returned, as international travel restrictions were eased, and was nearly back to pre-pandemic levels. All properties operated at full capacity, serving guests in line with government restrictions and safety protocols. Investment undertaken in our campsites in the previous years continued to benefit in 2021, as guests’ perceptions of safety and accessibility by car from surrounding countries continued to drive demand.
Our properties in Germany experienced very low activity levels at the beginning of 2021. Bookings did not reach pre-pandemic levels, but a lifting of restrictions in the third quarter provided a welcome surge in leisure bookings and weekend travel from European travellers. The popularity of our destination hotels in Nuremberg and Cologne were more obvious than in Berlin for example, which was purely a result of domestic leisure demand for those areas.
Across our operations in the region, demand for business travel remained slow in 2021 and activity was primarily from domestic markets, largely due to the limitations placed on international travel.
CEE REGION (HUNGARY, SERBIA, AUSTRIA)
This region did show signs of recovery but progress was more subdued than in the leisure-driven market of Croatia. Our hotel in Hungary was closed throughout the year. This was initially due to a government-imposed lockdown, however, the hotel remained closed when restrictions were eased due to extremely low demand.
Reported Group revenue increased by 93.3% to HRK 460.7 million (2020: HRK 238.3 million). Reported EBITDA increased significantly to HRK 163.4 million, driven by our Croatian operations which experienced strong booking activity throughout the third quarter and delivered a strong summer season performance. This performance was in contrast to 2020 when new bookings and guest arrivals came to a halt in mid-August due to several source markets reintroducing travel restrictions. Overall, reported EBITDA recovered to 71% of the EBITDA reported in 2019 (2020: EBITDA loss of HRK 18.3 million).
Accommodation revenue increased by 99.6% to HRK 384.0 million compared to last year (2020: HRK 192.4 million) as a result of a 768.3 bps increased in occupancy to 33.1% and a growth in average daily rate by 10.2% which amounted to HRK 590.7 (2020: occupancy 25.4% and average daily rate HRK 536.1, respectively). Together this translated into a RevPAR of HRK 195.4, which is 43.2% higher compared to the previous year (2020: HRK 136.4).
It is worth noting that the business mix remained consistent with 2020. Once again campsites (the highest margin of our accommodation offering) contributed proportionately more to the revenue and profit performance than was the case before the pandemic, as the Group continued to benefit from its recent investment programmes at Arena Grand Kažela and Arena One 99 Glamping. In addition, the demand for campsite bookings was borne out of the widespread perception amongst guests that they offer lower COVID-19 transmission risk. Campsites contributed more than 42% of our total revenues in Croatia in 2021; compared to roughly 33% in 2019.
Further details of the Group’s financial performance in Croatia and Germany, Hungary, Serbia and Austria are set out in the Operating review.
We are pleased to report that despite ongoing market challenges the Group made good strategic progress as it continued to pursue its growth strategy to:
- optimise the value of its assets while consistently delivering and exceeding our guests’ experiences in our properties and on our campsites
- expand the Group’s presence in the CEE region
- promote the Company profile in the luxury lifestyle market segments.
During the year the Group secured a total of HRK 78.9 million financing to support its investment and acquisition programme. These funds are a testament to the strategy, strength and ongoing resilience of our business, the management team, and the ongoing support of our lending partners.
INVESTMENTS, ACQUISITIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS
We continued to invest in our assets, alongside identifying acquisition opportunities which took the Group into a new market in 2021.
Our flagship investment project is the HRK 260 million repositioning of Grand Hotel Brioni in Pula, Croatia, to a luxury hotel. This project proceeded on schedule and has entered its final stage. We continue to closely monitor the market conditions before committing to an opening date, nonetheless the hotel is expected to open for the 2022 summer season. It will offer 227 premium rooms over seven floors, with an indoor and an outdoor infinity pool, an extensive wellness centre with saunas and relaxation rooms, a gym, kids’ playground, several restaurants and bars and meeting and event facilities.
In September, construction work commenced on development of a luxury hotel in an iconic building in Zagreb city centre. This 118-room hotel will have a superb location in the heart of Croatia’s capital city and will offer the city’s only rooftop pool and bar as well as a fine dining restaurant and luxury spa. This will be the Group’s first city centre hotel in Croatia and will be an important addition to the Group’s Croatian portfolio. The hotel is due to open prior to December 2022.
In Hungary, we are planning to invest HRK 24 million on refurbishment work at art’otel budapest. While the hotel is closed to guests, we have taken the opportunity to start the investment programme, which involves the redesign and renovation of the public areas on the ground floor and basement. The hotel is expected to reopen in spring 2022.
In December, we acquired the prestigious FRANZ Ferdinand Mountain Resort Nassfeld, in Austria. This four-star 144-room property is superbly located next to the valley station of Nassfeld Ski Resort in Carinthia and offers instant access to an impressive 110km of the region’s ski slopes. This latest acquisition will strengthen our strategic expansion in the CEE region in line with growth objectives. Austria is one of the Group’s largest customer markets for its Croatian operations and this hotel will help further raise the Group’s profile in this important market.
DIGITALISATION AND EXCEPTIONAL GUEST EXPERIENCES
Our purpose as a business is to create memories for our guests in premium destinations. We aim to exceed our guests’ expectations with excellent service in locations they will remember, and to which they will return.
The use of technology across the hospitality industry has accelerated during the pandemic, with a trend towards contactless interaction. The Group’s recent and ongoing investments in front and back of house technology has positioned us well for this evolution.
In Croatia, we have developed mobile applications for Arena Hotel and Arena Campsite guests, which facilitates sharing of information and offers direct communications channels with the hotel, resort or campsite. In 2021, combined downloads of both these mobile applications exceeded 15,000. In addition, 1,000 mobile keys, our contactless digital room key via mobile phone, were enabled via the Arena Hotel mobile application.
We continued to offer online and self-service check-ins across our hotels, resorts, campsites and glamping, and nearly 32,000 check-ins have been completed using these platforms. This accelerates the process, provides seamless guest experience, and positively impacted staff resource.
We sharpened our focus on health, safety and hygiene measures across the business at the onset of the pandemic, and throughout 2021 these protocols were continually reviewed and updated and team members underwent training. All guests were given clear guidance on arrival, with the hand sanitising products you would expect, as well as notices and reminders throughout our properties and locations.
In Croatia, we supported our guests by offering a web-based service enabling them to directly apply for COVID-19 testing, with test results emailed to the guest within 24 hours. This online service, through which more than 18,000 were organised in 2021, streamlined the process and reduced reception workload. In cooperation with the Institute of Public Heath of Istrian County, testing was made available to all our guests at three locations across our Croatian portfolio.
SALES AND MARKETING CAPABILITIES
In recent years, the Group has invested in and focused on generating direct sales and growing the profile of our brands. Our successful approach has led to a significant increase in the proportion of direct bookings through our own channel, up from 13% in 2019 to 30% in 2021, Furthermore, our brand web and direct sales bookings have grown ahead of other channels, such as online travel agencies, with total bookings increasing from 34% in 2019 to 48% in 2021, thereby reducing commission expenses and reliance on online travel agencies with the drop of 16% comparing to 2019.
We continue to invest in web-optimisation programmes to improve online search rankings, digital marketing and loyalty schemes to enhance brand recognition. Additionally, the Group has access to a global distribution platform and a range of sales tools and initiatives via PPHE Hotel Group’s strategic partnership with Radisson Hotel Group.
OUR COLLEAGUES DRIVE US FORWARD
Our people are at the heart of our business, and it is imperative that we continue to provide training and career development opportunity in order to attract and retain the best talents. In the fourth quarter, we began piloting of an App to enhance employee communication and engagement, offer features such as internal communications, education and onboarding, time management and task management.
As a Company, we are proud of our inclusive, diverse and collaborative working environment, and we support all colleagues in their day-to-day interactions. We promote equal working practices and enable all colleagues to participate equally in an open work community that is free of bias towards race or gender. We offer ongoing training and development opportunities and in 2021 our Management Board worked hard to impart all guidelines and safety notices with clarity and speed with regular contact via a network of regional teams.
The industry-wide labour shortages have been widely reported, and we are not immune to the challenge that this presents across our operations.
In Croatia we recruited team members from neighbouring countries, supported by recruitment agency partnerships, as well as further afield including the Philippines, Ukraine and Macedonia. Nonetheless, labour market pressures meant we were only able to recruit team members to support 80% occupancy. However, we were proud of high level of engagement from our teams and the way they worked together in response to this challenge, taking on versatile roles across our portfolio including office-based staff supporting operation where needed. Our colleagues were remunerated by way of a bonus, including a post-season bonus, a holiday bonus and a Christmas bonus. We also introduced special productivity incentives for extra hours worked.
The wellbeing of our team remained a key priority for the Group. In collaboration with the public Health Institute, COVID-19 vaccination centres were set up onsite and we financially incentivised our people to be vaccinated, to keep them and our guests safe. We also organised PCR and antigen testing for our employees where necessary. In addition, through the ARENA Fit programme, we organised workouts for colleagues (when restrictions allowed) to support their health and fitness.
On behalf of the Management Board, I would like to extend my thanks to all team members and colleagues, past and present, for their commitment and professionalism during the year. They went above and beyond yet again, even when circumstances were challenging for them.
CURRENT TRADING AND OUTLOOK
The current wave of the COVID-19 variant Omicron in Europe has coincided with our low season in Croatia, a time when we reflect, and focus on investing in and upgrading assets to prepare them for the upcoming summer season. As expected, trading in Hungary and Germany remains subdued due to the latest lockdowns and restrictions in these markets.
The final quarter of 2021 was in line with expectations across our operating regions. Operations in Croatia have wound down as stated above, for a period of maintenance in preparation for the year ahead. The sports season has been impacted by the latest wave of Omicron infections, but the outlook for the year ahead is promising.
While we continue to navigate the pandemic, we are encouraged by the recovery in activity in Croatia in 2021, our largest operating region. Increasingly our focus is turning to living with the virus, with sensible measures in place that protect us and our livelihoods into the future.
Whilst we remain cautious, we are optimistic about the future growth prospects of travel and tourism and our ability to capture and respond positively to market demand.
Reuel (‘Reli’) Slonim
PRESIDENT OF THE MANAGEMENT BOARD
Strengthening long term growth through investments & acquisitions
Underpinned by its owner operator position and enabled by its significant construction and engineering expertise, the Group continued its journey to develop its existing assets and diversify its portfolio through exciting projects as well as strengthen its foundations for future growth, whilst maintaining strong liquidity in the difficult times and aims to deliver future value to its shareholders. In recent years, the Group has diversified its business from solely operating in Croatia to strategically expand into Germany, Hungary and Serbia and now in Austria with its acquisition of FRANZ ferdinand Mountain Resort Nassfeld.more on corporative website
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Chairman of the Supervisory BoardSkills and experience
Chairman of the Supervisory Board
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, Mr. Ivesha 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. Mr. Ivesha attended all of the Supervisory Board meetings in 2021.
Vice Chairman of the Supervisory BoardSkills and experience
Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board
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. Mr Papouchado attended all of the Supervisory Board meetings in 2021.
Board memberSkills and experience
Kevin Michael McAuliffe, is the Non-Executive Deputy Chairman of the PPHE Hotel Group Limited. He was a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. 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. Mr McAuliffe attended all of the Supervisory Board and Committee meetings in 2021.
Board memberSkills and experience
Marino Derossi, MD, is a doctor of medicine with many years of experience in internal medicine, the owner of a private practice for internal medicine focused on gastroenterology. He is a member of the Court of Honor in the Croatian Medical Chamber and other Croatian and international societies and organisations. He was the President of the Istrian County Commission of the Croatian Medical Chamber for three terms. He is the winner of the Charter for Care for the Reputation of the Medical Staff and the Diploma for Outstanding Achievements in the Work awarded by the Croatian Medical Chamber. Mr Derossi attended all of the Supervisory Board meetings in 2021.
Board memberSkills and experience
Mrs. Pende was a long-standing legal counsel at Uljanik, d.d., one of the biggest Croatian shipyards, where she worked for over 30 years. Ms. Pende acts as the Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of Alpha Adriatic d.d.. Ms. Pende holds a law degree from the University of Zagreb. Mrs Pende attended all of the Supervisory Board and Committee meetings in 2021.
Board memberSkills and experience
Lorena Škuflić is a professor at the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb and since 2010 has been the Head of the Department of Economic Theory. Prior to this, Mrs. 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. Mrs Škuflić attended all of the Supervisory Board and Committee meetings in 2021.
Board member (Appointed by workers' council)Skills and experience
Board member (Appointed by workers' council)
Goran Nikolić was born in 1977 in Pula, Croatia. He completed his primary and secondary education in Pula in 1995. In 2010, he completed the course for “System and Network Administrator” at the University College Algebra. After employment at Pula Airport and Uljanik, since 1998 he has been employed by Arenaturist (today Arena Hospitality Group) where he has already worked for 23 years. Mr. Nikolić also holds the position of President of the Workers’ Council of the Company. He currently works in the Company as head of customer support in the Company’s IT department. Mr Nikolić has been appointed as the Supervisory Board member as of 1 January 2021. Mr Nikolić attended all of the Supervisory Board meetings in 2021.
Reuel ('Reli') Slonim
President of the Management BoardSkills and experience
Reuel ('Reli') Slonim
President of the Management Board
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. Before that, Mr Slonim was Vice President of Marketing & Sales after having served for ten years as General Manager of 5-Star resort hotel. Since joining Arena Hospitality Group in 2008, he has introduced significant transformations, including the renovation, upgrade and rebranding properties, and acquisition and successful integration of the German, Hungarian, Serbian and Austrian operations, creating the first Croatian international hospitality Group. Also, Mr Slonim led the Group’s 2017 IPO, which raised EUR 100 million in equity proceeds. The proceeds are designated for Group’s further development and growth. Moreover, the Group continues to expand in the CEE region through the addition of new properties in Zagreb, Nassfeld and Belgrade. Under his tenure, Arena grew from a local company to a truly international player with a significant EBITDA growth. During these years the Group introduced highly professional management procedures, continuously grew in terms of digitalization and IT innovations, and refined the training and development culture, which has solidified recognition of Arena Hospitality Group as a leading hospitality company in Croatia. In addition, Mr Slonim is a member of the Croatian Tourism Association (HUT) and is active in the communities of Pula and Medulin, member of the local Tourist Boards, and a committed supporter of local culture and sports.
Member of the Management Board and Marketing and Sales DirectorSkills and experience
Member of the Management Board and Marketing and Sales Director
Manuela Kraljević joined Arena Hospitality Group as Sales and Marketing Director in January 2009. During her previous appointment, Mrs Kraljević was covering for six years, the Sales and Marketing Director position in Croatia for the renowned hotel chain Sol Melia. Since joining Arena Hospitality Group in 2009, she has repositioned upgraded properties, directed the development of a modern sales and marketing department, introduced revenue and yield management, and was vital for online business growth. Mrs Kraljević has been an early adopter of technologically innovative solutions and has facilitated the Group’s transition to a modern and agile company. Under her leadership, development and implementation of marketing and sales strategies, Arena Hospitality Group has gained market share in Croatia, Germany, Hungary and Serbia. Additionally, she is in charge of Group’s Responsible Business activities. Mrs Kraljević is a member of Pula and Medulin Tourist Boards and the Economic Council of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce for the Istrian Region. Her marketing achievements were awarded several times with the Golden Goat Award.
Member of the Management Board & Chief Financial OfficerSkills and experience
Member of the Management Board & Chief Financial Officer
Devansh Bakshi joined Arena Hospitality Group in 2019 as Board member and Chief Financial Officer. Prior to that he worked as Group Finance Director for Arora Group, which is a diverse real estate business managing hotels, construction and commercial property portfolio in the United Kingdom. In 2011 he joined PPHE Hotel Group and worked for over five years as a Regional Financial Controller for the UK region. He has over 25 years of hospitality experience covering various disciplines of finance, real estate & construction. He is instrumental in ongoing group’s financing activities for redevelopment and new acquisitions. Consolidating of support functions and technology upgrade for group wide optimisation of resources and organisational efficiency. Leads group compliance, governance and enterprise risk management. Particular focus on investor relations and capital market activities. Mr. Bakshi holds a Hotel Management degree, an MBA in International Business and is a qualified Fellow Chartered Management Accountant from United Kingdom.
Edmond ('Edi') Pinto
Member of the Management Board & Chief Operation OfficerSkills and experience
Edmond ('Edi') Pinto
Member of the Management Board & Chief Operation Officer
Edmond Pinto started his hospitality career as F&B Manager by primarily launching the all-inclusive concept in Israel, after which he served as General Manager in hotel operations working for ‘’Isrotel’’ hotel chain for more than 20 years. During that time he was successfully operating various 5* resorts, luxury and city hotels. Mr Pinto holds a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management and has rich experience in the hotel industry with extensive knowledge in establishing cooperation with large businesses and corporate bodies and fostering community ties at the municipal level. His previous role as Resort Consultant & Owner Representative included managing all required opening procedures for a new holiday resort, providing support to the owner regarding financial issues, establishing budgets, developing, regulations, standards, terms, documentation, processes, handling requirements and inventories. Mr Pinto joined Arena Hospitality Group in March 2020 as Member of the Management Board and Chief Operating Officer.