(OEH) Orient-Express Hotels Limited Replaces Interim CEO

Hamilton, Bermuda-based, Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. (OEH) recently announced the appointment of board member Philip R. Mengel as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on an interim basis. Mengel replaces J. Robert “Bob” Lovejoy, who resigned from the post of interim CEO on professional grounds. He will now continue to serve as the Chairman of the company’s board.

J. Robert “Bob” Lovejoy has been playing the dual role of Chairman of the board and interim CEO over the past 10 months. Bob Lovejoy was appointed as the interim CEO, when the company’s ex-CEO Paul White resigned from his position in July 2011. The company is still searching for a permanent successor for White.

Philip R. Mengel joined Orient-Express as Chairman of the Audit Committee in June 2011. Currently, he also serves as the Operating Partner of Snow Phipps Group and a director of the Economist Newspaper Group. Previously, Mengel has held positions of chief executive officer in a number of industrial companies like U.S. Can; English, Welsh & Scottish Railway; and Ibstock Plc.

Management remains optimistic on the appointment of Mr. Mengel on an interim basis as they believe that his experience and profound understanding of the company’s business will drive the company to new heights and thereby will enhance shareholders value.

Orient-Express, which competes with the likes of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (HOT) and Hyatt Hotels Corp. (H), reported its first quarter 2012 earnings in early May. Total revenue, excluding Real Estate, was up 10% at $107.0 million while revenue from owned hotels grew 8% to $93.9 million. Adjusted loss from continuing operation was 16 cents, which beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 18 cents. The company expects financials in 2012 to benefit from portfolio optimization activity and stabilization of global economic environment, especially outside Europe.

Orient-Express currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. We are also maintaining our long-term Outperform recommendation on the stock.

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