Home' Hotel Management : HM APL 2016 Contents Leading lawyer: Robert Williams
Mantra Group CEO, Bob East
The unemployment rate in Australia
is stubbornly hovering around the 6%
rate, which is an issue for government,
businesses and the Australian public
Our industry (tourism, or visitor
economy may be a more apt
description) has been identified as a
growth sector and a significant employer.
The key issue for our industry is still
attracting the right sta who are semi-
skilled with the right attitude.
Many of the big chains have implemented
programs to attract and skill employees
from all sources such as indigenous, long
term unemployed, disabled, refugees
Knowing the size of this issue, the
Accommodation Association has also
been working hard with Job Active
providers to source, train and deliver
quality employees to members with a lot
Just last month (Mar 2016), for example,
we had training programs underway
in Sydney, Brisbane, Newcastle and
Wollongong delivering government
funded, skilled employees.
A key deliverable is these employees
will have hands on training before they
are selected for employment with the
requisite skills to perform the work before
they are paid by the employer.
Support for these programs by our
members is critical and I encourage you
to contact Troy Schu t, our Director of
the AAoA Academy, to find out more of
how we can assist you.
On the same subject of jobs, the
government recently floated a policy
of taxing the Working Holiday Makers
(WHM) from the first dollar earned
rather than applying the same principal
as Australian residents of a tax free
threshold. In recent times we have seen
the decline of around 6% of WHM and
at the same time the Visa application
has nearly doubled, no coincidence in
The Industry rallied on this issue and
met, and made a submission to Senator
Richard Colbeck, who to his credit has
taking carriage of this policy -- we will
let you know how that pans out as the
WHM is an important source of labour
for many of our members.
With the election looming, we must
remind the Government and the
Opposition that our industry is a
large employer and a solution to the
Richard Munro is Chief Executive
O cer of the Accommodation
Association of Australia
BOB EAST: MANTRA RECEIVING
RECORD DEVELOPMENT ENQUIRIES
Mantra Group's CEO, Bob East, says the company
is experiencing "unprecedented enquiries" for new
hotels as the organisation posted a solid first half
for 2015-16 which saw revenue jump 21.7%.
Speaking exclusively to HM, East said probably
the most compelling feature of the results "was
the strength of the new hotels into the portfolio",
adding there was a lot more to come on the
"We currently have unprecedented inbound
enquiry for us to manage
hotels and resorts under our
brand," he told HM.
Nine hotels joined the
network during the first half of
2015-16 and one property was
added in January 2016.
"We have a new Singapore
o ce that is starting to receive
very good leads and we will
have more announcements
in the near term on our
strengthening Asian portfolio,"
On the results front, statutory NPAT was
AUD$24.3 million, higher than statutory NPAT for
H1FY2015 of AUD$21.8 million, whilst underlying
EBITDAI of $53.2 million was up 26.1% on the
same period last year.
"It's been another period of continued improvement
across the Group," East said. "Mantra Group has
continued to build on its strong foundations and
continues to deliver growth in revenue and profitability.
"This has been achieved by the acquisition of
nine properties in the six month
period, an increase in domestic
and international travellers
enjoying Australian holidays and
positive business sentiment in key
"We are delighted to report
that for the half year ended 31
December 2015, the Group
performed strongly in terms of
revenue, profitability and cash flow
and is on track to deliver earnings
in line with guidance given in
Withers recruits Ryan Law team
The team from popular
Sydney and Singapore law
firm Ryan Lawyers, led by
principal Robert Williams,
have been recruited by
global business Withers,
HM can reveal.
Williams, a popular and
recognised expert in the
hotels sector across the
region, will head Withers'
practice which includes
a team of four corporate
and commercial lawyers.
He previously ran the Australian business
of Ryan Lawyers, and has worked at Baker and
McKenzie and Taylor Wessing.
He is joined by Justin Gross, partner, who
has 20 years' experience in M&A, funds and
structuring, with tax, accounting and legal skills;
Chris Greiner, a consultant to the team who is
very highly regarded in the industry with over
30 years of experience in hospitality sector
transactions and 20 years at Ashurst, including
as a senior partner; and Vivian Chen, associate,
is an experienced junior lawyer and has been
supporting the team for a number of years.
Williams said the move came at an exciting
time for the hotel industry across Asia-Pacific.
"Withers has a great
platform across Asia-Pacific
and, importantly, Withers
KhattarWong gives us terrific
presence in Singapore, which
is the centre of gravity for
hotel deals in South East
Asia," he said.
"The firm's focus on high
net worth investors and
entrepreneurs aligns really well
with our practice in the hotel
and hospitality sector.
"Hotels and resort
investment and development in Asia is growing
steadily with SGD$12 billion in transactions
expected in 2016.
"We believe that combining our industry
experience with Withers' reach and reputation
makes for an unbeatable proposition for us
and our clients," Williams said.
Williams said the team represents leading
owners and operators in the hotels and
He said they specialise in acquisitions and
sales of hotels and resorts, negotiating hotel
management, franchising and development
and leasing deals, operating platform M&A
transactions and providing capital raising, fund
structuring and vacation ownership advice.
8 HM The Business of Accommodation
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