Accountant hotel boss poised to net £4m
The chief executive of Edinburgh-based Apex Hotels is in line for bonus payout worth more than £4 million under a long-term incentive scheme linked to the value of its property portfolio.
Angela Vickers joined the family-owned company in 2004 as finance director but took on its day-to-day running less than a year later.
Ms Vickers, who initially trained as an accountant at KPMG, was set a series of long-term bonus targets in 2008 and Apex said that she had qualified for the bulk of a £4.8 million bonus pot after the net assets of the business increased from about £66 million to more than £200 million under her leadership.
Apex, which has hotels in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and London, said that it expected to make the payment by the end of October 2018.
Ms Vickers, who chose to move into industry with Stakis, the hotels group, and then Damovo, the telecoms company said: “When the long-term incentive plan was agreed in 2008, I had no expectation that the overall growth of the company and financial return would be at the level it is now,” said “To date, I’ve overseen five hotel openings, including three in London. Being able to showcase the Apex product to a growing customer base, while delivering steady financial returns in a highly competitive industry, can bring challenges, particularly during periods of difficult trading.”
Ian Springford, the chairman, whose mother Dorothy, brother David and sister Jo also sit on the board, said: “The rump of that long-term incentive scheme is for Angela Vickers. We are now in a nice position to be able to honour it and have the finances in place to be able to do that.
“Angela has presided over significant growth in the company. She has been fundamental to that.”
The details of the bonus scheme were revealed as annual accounts filed at Companies House showed that Apex increased turnover by 2 per cent to £57.2 million in the 12 months to April 2015.
Underlying pre-tax profit was up more than 10 per cent to £10.6 million.
The total number of rooms sold in the year to end April 2015 fell just under one per cent to 360,334. Occupancy was also down from 87.2 per cent to 86.5 per cent. However the average room rate grew almost five per cent to £126.17.
The industry measure of revenue per available room — revpar — rose 4 per cent to £109.17.
According to the accounts, the highest-paid director received emoluments of £251,000, down from £337,000.
Apex said that its four hotels in Edinburgh and one in Dundee had benefited from the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow during the financial year.
Mr Springford said the Commonwealth Games shooting event, held near Carnoustie in Angus, had resulted in the Apex Dundee being fully booked for several days.
Since the end of the financial year, Apex has completed an extension of its City of London premises and opened its first hotel in Glasgow. The Glasgow site, the former Marks Hotel in the city, cost Apex about £10.5 million to develop. It is reported to be trading ahead of expectations.
Refurbishments on Apex’s Grassmarket site in Edinburgh, the Dundee hotel and City of London are being carried out over the coming months.Mr Springford said: “We constantly re-invest back into the buildings to keep ahead of the competition and guest expectations.”
The £35 million development of a 177-bed hotel and spa in Bath was on course to open in the middle of next year.
The new Bath hotel is also being financed by a £29m facility from Bank of Scotland, together with a 150-year sale and leaseback transaction, agreed after the year end.
Mr Springford said that the general outlook was positive, with demand in London continuing to be strong. “The occupancy we are getting is good and the rate we are getting is good,” he said.
Asked if Apex was looking at any more cities to open in he said: “We are constantly on the lookout for new opportunities but we don’t have a fixed road map for new hotels.”