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Sophos to Manage Hit's Hotels in Kranjska Gora

Kranjska Gora, 18 April (STA) - The struggling gaming and hotel chain Hit will outsource the management of its six hotels in the Alpine resort Kranjska Gora to the Swiss company Sophos Hotels under a deal signed by the two companies on Thursday.

Sophos, a Lausanne-based firm specialised in hotel management, will run the operational, sales, marketing and product segments for a standard management fee while Hit's subsidiary Hit Alpinea will remain in charge of financial management.

"We've realized that Hit Alpinea can grow faster and better with the help of a management team that Sophos will put in place on 1 June," Hit CEO Dimitrij Piciga told the press.

Sophos Hotels chairman Fernand Donnet noted that his company was involved in hotel management in ten Eastern European countries, where they succeeded even when the situation was not ideal.

Media reports suggest Hit was forced by banks to outsource the Kranjska Gora hotels, which are owned by subsidiary Hit Alpinea and are saddled with EUR 26m in debt.

The deal with Sophos envisages Hit Alpinea's revenues to rise from EUR 12.5m to EUR 13.5m in two years and hit EUR 15m within four years.

Operating profit is expected to amount to 20-25% of revenue, which would suffice to cover investments and financial liabilities.

The move will help the ailing Hit, one of the biggest players in Slovenian tourism, and it is also expected to inject some energy into the stagnant tourism in Kranjska Gora.

Kranjska Gora Mayor Jure Žerjav said the arrival of Sophos brought "new quality and progress", ending a period of uncertainty.

Hit Alpinea owns some of the best-known mass-market hotels in the upscale resort, including Larix, Prisank, Alpina and Špik.

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