Federico J. Gonzalez Tejera, the Group's CEO, highlights the favourable execution of all the business plan initiatives and its positive impact on all areas of the Company, as is evident in the Group's key performance indicatorsSome of the milestones achieved in 2014 include estimated RevPAR growth of over 3%, the rollout of pricing strategy, the repositioning of 31 hotels, the exit of 30 non-strategic hotels, the renegotiation of existing leases and growth of 25% in membership of the NH Rewards loyalty programmeNH faces 2015 with a boost to its growth strategy, announcing its committed to acquire the hotel chain of Colombian origin "Hoteles Royal" for a sum of EUR65.6m, after deducting the EUR21.5m of proceeds collected from the sale of the NH Bogota Parque 93 hotel in January 2015The Company will go from two to 21 hotels (2,379 rooms) across Colombia, Chile and Ecuador, adding a portfolio of hotels which present a strong strategic fit, thereby bringing forward delivery of its growth targets for Latin AmericaThe Group's CEO also spoke of bright prospects for 2015: EBITDA is expected to grow around 30% (considering the contribution of Hoteles Royal), and a RevPAR growth of over 5%Madrid, 3rd of February 2015. NH Hotel Group has presented today the key milestones of 2014, weighing up the Company's performance in year one of its current five-year strategic plan and providing insight into guidance for 2015The Group's Chief Executive Officer, Federico J. Gonzalez Tejera, confirmed NH Hotel Group's notable recovery, supported by the accomplishment of the objectives laid down in each of the initiatives of the plan during this first year of transformation. More specifically, he spoke of the results momentum evidenced in the latter quarters of 2014 and the positive trends in the key hotel business performance indicators. He also noted the gradual improvement in hotel profitability, in line with execution of the measures contemplated to this end in the Group's transformation plan, flagging estimated growth in revenue per available room (RevPAR) of over 3% in 2014. All of this was possible thanks to the rollout of a pricing strategy designed to boost the average daily rate (ADR) taking advantage of times of stable occupancy. He remarked that ADR growth is one of the direct results of the initial business plan initiatives implemented in year one which are unquestionably having a very positive impact in the marketplace and on consumers, who are providing very encouraging feedback about the improvements made and the Group's now-compelling value proposition.In this same line, the Group's top executive stressed the strong commitment to rigorous compliance with the roadmap laid out by the strategic plan, emphasising the progress already made and the next steps to be taken."Today NH is a group in the midst of transformation with the ambition to become the top choice in the urban hotel segment on product and service. In this first year we have tackled major refurbishments and taken strategic decisions which are enabling us to make our hotels more profitable, improve our positioning and generate better guest feedback, while at the same time paying off corporate debt" said Mr. Gonzalez Tejera.Strategic Plan: First year of transformation New value proposition In his speech, NH's CEO highlighted the materialisation of a new NH value proposition, underpinned by a new brand and new experience architecture, as one of the most important milestones achieved during this first year of transformation. The fact that the NH Collection, NH Hotels, nhow and Hesperia trademarks are today a tangible reality, clearly differentiated by consumers, particularly in the upscale and upper upscale segments on which the Company focused its efforts in the past year, is translating into growth in average prices.In parallel, the Company has enhanced the guest experience by implementing a solid operational promise in which new items comprising the hotels' basic offering have been implemented (EUR30 million of investment). Known as the Brilliant Basics, these essential items are currently available in the vast majority of the Group's establishments and are helping to improve the guest experience and ultimate feedback.NH Hotel Group's CEO also underscored the successful renovation of the loyalty programme, NH Rewards, which saw membership increase to over 4 million in 2014, with 25% of these members signing up just last year.The trends in internal and external quality indicators reveal a significant improvement in how users' rate the group's hotels in the past year, particularly in respect of hotels where the first transformation measures have already been implemented. By way of illustration, the ratings on Tripadvisor of recently-refurbished establishments evidence a very substantial improvement, with the NH Collection Eurobuilding climbing from 153th place to 14, for example, and the NH Collection Palazzo Barocci in Venice jumping from 164th place to 26.In the meetings and events segment, meanwhile, NH has been reinforcing its leadership position by implementing sector-pioneering technology solutions such as 3D holographic projection technology and telepresence and interactive collaboration systems, which are being used for the first time in the hotel business and have been installed definitively in some of the Group's hotels to ensure high-impact, high-performance meetings and events.Repositioning and asset growth As for the asset repositioning plan, NH Hotel Group's CEO said it would invest EUR220 million between 2014 and 2016 to renovate and refurbish the hotels offering the highest potential for ADR growth. At present, 73% of this capital expenditure is going to reposition hotels for conversion into NH Collection-branded establishments. This process has already been successfully concluded at flagship establishments such as the NH Berlin Mitte (Germany), NH Collection Palazzo Barocci (Italy), NH Collection Eurobuilding and NH Collection Abascal (the last two in Madrid, Spain).On the growth front, NH Hotel Group added nine hotels to its portfolio in 2014 (3 openings and 6 signed contracts) and launched its joint venture with the HNA Group in China, where it plans to develop a chain of hotels under the management regime formula.IT transformation Lastly, NH's CEO highlighted the progress made on optimising management and organisational capabilities, particularly in terms of IT systems. The Group's online strategy has delivered a significant reduction in intermediation costs, thanks to the comprehensive revamp of the commercial website at the corporate level, enhancing its capabilities and functionality and making it available in mobile versions adapted for all operating systems (IOS, Android and Windows). Last year it also designed a dedicated website for the NH Collection brand, so that consumers will be able to make bookings at any of the 29 hotels currently operated under this brand quickly, simply and securely.Hoteles Royal: Growth in LatinamericaNH Hotel Group has entered into an agreement for the acquisition of Latin American chain Hoteles Royal. Under the terms agreed, the Company will first take an 80.77% ownership interest and will later acquire the remaining 19.23%. The amount payable for the acquisition of 100% of the equity of Hoteles Royal, after deducting the EUR21.5m collected from the sale of NH Bogota Parque 93, is EUR65.6m. As a result, NH is accelerating the growth plans contemplated in its five-year business plan, taking advantage of a unique opportunity to achieve a leadership position in various destinations throughout the region.The proceeds from the sale of the NH Bogota Parque 93 hotel in Colombia in January, coupled with some of the proceeds from the sale of Sotogrande last year, position the Group to fund the Hoteles Royal acquisition without having to increase its debt. The sale of the Bogota hotel was closed at a substantially higher multiple of EBITDA than the Hoteles Royal acquisition, which means that the deal as a whole was done at a very compelling multiple.Hoteles Royal, a homogenous product in line with NH's high standards Hoteles Royal is an international company of Colombian origin focused on the development and management of city hotels and is a benchmark player in the corporate segment. The agreement will enable NH to add 20 hotels and 2,257 rooms divided between Colombia (15 hotels), Chile (4 hotels) and Ecuador (1 hotel). These establishments are currently operated by the Latin American company under a mix of regimes: ownership arrangements (3 hotels), long-term variable leases (12 hotels) and the management regime (5 hotels). The mix of contracts used by Royal fits with the asset-light growth model envisaged by NH for the years to come.This transaction reinforces NH's portfolio in the region in attractive locations. The Group will emerge as the leading player in Bogota and one of the leading operators in Santiago de Chile, both of which are destinations in which the Company already does business and had targeted for growth.The Hoteles Royal establishments provide a homogenous and consistent product offering which presents a strong match with the high standards upheld by NH and will facilitate the integration of these new properties into the latter's hotel portfolio.Agreement with Radisson Until now, Hoteles Royal holds the Radisson franchise in Latin America; in fact, six of the Colombian chain's hotels, included under the scope of this agreement, are marketed under the Radisson brand. As a result of this acquisition and in the wake of a three-way agreement (between Radisson, Hoteles Royal and NH Hotel Group), Radisson would take back control of its franchise in Latin America and NH Hotel Group would rebrand the acquired hotels as NH Collection and NH Hotels establishments.An opportunity to boost the multinational's growth in Latin America At present, NH operates more than 8,000 hotel rooms in America between 37 hotels located in nine different countries: Argentina, Chile, Cuba, the US, Haiti, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay and Venezuela. As a result of the acquisition, NH will have 57 hotels and over 10,000 rooms on the continent, becoming a benchmark player in some of Latin America's key markets. Moreover, the acquisition will boost the Group's earnings in the region, where revenue currently accounts for 6% of the total.In the words of Federico J. Gonzalez Tejera, CEO of NH Hotel Group: "This acquisition delivers growth in Latin America, one of the core objectives contemplated in our business plan, without implying any deviation whatsoever from our stated commitments. We are certain that the process of integrating the Hoteles Royal properties into the NH portfolio will be natural and easy given the product and positioning match. We are confident that the integration will be successfully completed during the course of this year".Outlook for 2015As for the future, NH's CEO expressed optimism regarding the Company's prospects, driven by business recovery, particularly in the second half of 2014. The Group estimates an EBITDA growth of around 30% and RevPAR growth of over 5% in 2015, thanks to continued execution of the plan and the contribution by Hoteles Royal.The asset repositioning strategy is continuing, with plans to refurbish 40 hotels this year. Consolidation of the meetings and events segment value proposition, particularly implementation overseas of the revolutionary 3D holographic and telepresence technology in core markets such as Italy, Germany, Mexico and Netherlands, is another of the challenges which lies in store in 2015.