Hospitality operators in the UK are optimistic about business prospects in the first half of 2010 despite a tough trading environment in the last six months of 2009, a survey has found.
According to the Santander Corporate Banking Business Confidence Index, which questioned nearly 875 businesses, more than two thirds (71%) of hospitality and leisure company owners are confident about their business prospects in the first half of this year.
However, confidence among operators has dropped from 89% six months ago and is slightly below the national average of 75%.
The survey found that while overall half of companies in the UK saw profits slide in the second half of 2009, hospitality and leisure businesses ranked above that average with 52% reporting a drop in profits. The average drop in profits for the last six months of 2009 was 12.7%. More than a quarter (27%) reported an increase in profits, with the average rise at 12.3%.
Steve Pateman, head of Santander Corporate Banking, said: "Confidence remains relatively high among hospitality and leisure firms although it has certainly been knocked in the past four months by the continuing squeeze on profits."
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By Kerstin Kühn
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