The Dorchester Group has reported increases in revenue and pre-tax profit for 2018, ahead of an expected downturn following boycotts earlier this year.
In documents filed with Companies House for the year to 31 December 2018, the company, whose UK portfolio includes the Dorchester and 45 Park Lane in London and Coworth Park in Ascot, Berkshire, reported revenue of £411.2m, an increase on £384.4m the previous year, and pre-tax profit of £28.5m, up from £24.6m in 2017.
However, the group said it expects to see “a downturn in current levels of business” given “the current acute political and economic uncertainty in the UK and continental Europe and the reactions to recent legislative changes in Brunei”.
Brunei was set to introduce laws making gay sex and adultery punishable by stoning to death, although backtracked on enforcing the laws in May. The Dorchester Collection is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, the sovereign wealth fund of the Sultan of Brunei.
The news regarding the new laws in April was followed by calls for a boycott of the company's nine global hotels, most notably by actor George Clooney. The company was previously hit by a boycott by prominent members of the fashion, media and travel industries following the implementation of a series of harsh Islamic laws by the Sultan in 2014.
Personal abuse directed at the staff of Dorchester Collection hotels led to the temporary closure of the group's social media accounts and protests took place outside the group's London Park Lane property.
The group also reported hotel occupancy of 76%, up from 73.8% last year, while the average room rate increased from £602 to £633 and revenue per available room (revpar) increased from £444 to £481.
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