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First-year results read well for De Vere group

The De Vere hotel group has turned in a solid set of financial results in the year since selling off its pubs and restaurants for £1.1b and changing its name from Greenalls.

Turnover on continuing operations in the 12 months to 1 October increased by 13.5% to £232.5m, and operating profit on continuing operations rose by 2% to £46.5m. Profit before tax and exceptional items was £37.9m, against £91.9m last year.

During the year De Vere Hotels increased its number of bedrooms by 16%, mainly as a result of buying St David’s Hotels. And the number of bedrooms at its Village Leisure hotels rose by 25% following two new openings in Coventry and Dudley.

Sales from De Vere’s hotels and health and fitness businesses rose by 15.2% from £179.2m to £206.6m.

The De Vere-branded hotels reported operating profit up from £30.2m to £33.1m, on sales up from £132.5m to £152.5m. They achieved an occupancy level of 74%, in line with last year.

The contract to manage the De Vere Whites hotel at the Reebok stadium in Bolton, which opened on 30 October, added 125 bedrooms to the group’s room stock.

De Vere has also added 14 luxury time-share lodges to its developments at the Cameron House, Slaley Hall and Belton Woods hotels, taking the total to 109.

Two further four-star hotels, Sopwell House in Hertfordshire and the Five Lakes hotel in Essex, have joined De Vere’s sales and marketing alliance.

At Village Leisure hotels, sales increased by 8.5% to £50.1m, but reported operating profits fell from £13.7m to £12.1m. Excluding new openings, room yield grew by 2% to £39.52. Occupancy was 83%.

De Vere said it would get rid of its Tavern drinks wholesaling business before the end of March 2001. It also announced the £60m acquisition of the Cavendish hotel in London.

by David Shrimpton

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