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M&C doubles third-quarter profits

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Millennium & Copthorne’s bullish third-quarter trading gave the hotel industry another boost last week.

The figures, which were announced on Friday (5 November), showed the hotel group, which owns most of its hotels, had doubled its third-quarter pre-tax profits from £6.6m to £13.3m. The group’s 88-strong portfolio of four- and five-star properties achieved an occupancy rate of 75.1% for the three months to 30 September, up from 68.7% on the year.

Revenue per available room (revpar) rose by 11.55% to £43.20 for the quarter, compared with the same period in 2003, with 9% growth in October.

M&C’s exposure to the New York, Singapore and London markets meant its trading suffered after 11 September and the Sars epidemic, but it has bounced back since.

Simon Allison, M&C’s president of Europe, said it would “opportunistically look to sell properties”, having recently offloaded the Plaza hotel in New York.

Allison added that the company was pitching for management contracts in Edinburgh, Leeds and Bristol in the UK and Prague, Barcelona and Frankfurt on the Continent.

“We would put out capital for the right property, but ideally we would prefer management contracts,” he said.

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