December 21, 2000 — HVS International — Movenpick, the Swiss-based hotel and catering group, expects operating profit to increase sharply in 2000 despite start-up problems with its ice-cream business in Japan. The statement was made following a newspaper report which quoted the group's Chief Executive, Bruno Schoepfer, as stating a Euro 10 million loss is expected from the group's Asian activities.
Logistical problems with packaging is believed to have resulted in significant one-off costs, although Movenpick defends its decision to enter the Japanese market. Movenpick believes it is on target to exceed its 1999 operating profit of Euro 12.4 million on sales of Euro 838 million. Analysts are forecasting net profit of Euro 17.7 million for the current financial year.