Orbis has officially confirmed earlier news that the Supervisory Board had approved changes to the company’s strategy for the years 2006-2010. Orbis plans to put more emphasis in economy hotels segment, increasing their number to 44 from 9 currently, by spending PLNm 487 on construction of new Ibis and Etap hotels, compared with only PLNm 49 assigned for higher class hotels. Importantly, Orbis decided to reduce capex on rebuilding its old ‘Orbis Hotels’ outlets into new Accor branded hotels to PLN 327m. Orbis reiterated plans to dispose of several locations, which do not fit into its hotel portfolio.
On top of that Orbis made cosmetic changes to its EBITDA forecast for its hotel operations division (Orbis Hotel Group), raising 2006 forecast from PLNm 189 to PLNm 191, and raising 2007 -2010 forecast on a similar, minor scale. The company has not mentioned making any changes to earnings outlook for travel and transportation divisions.
We view the modified strategy as the step in right direction, as it steps-up investment in the most prospective segment, while pulling out of the segment where competition has became too fierce. Apart from that it opens the way for realising the hidden value of its real property portfolio, by continued asset disposals. Nonetheless, we still view the stock as overvalued taking into account its low ROE at only 4%, outlook for flat earnings for this year and high expectations regarding Orbis real property revaluation. We reiterate our Sell rating for the stock.