The Apex Hotel Group has said it will push ahead with its expansion plans despite a dip in full-year profit.
While turnover in the year to 30 April 2008 increased by 5% year-on-year to £26.6m operating profit slipped from £6.9m to £5.6m.
This was largely due to the inclusion of a full year's rental charge on two of Apex's Edinburgh properties, which were subject to a sale and leaseback transaction in 2007.
Apex recorded a pre-tax profit of £7.4m for the full year boosted by a tax credit of £2.2m, in relation to changes in the rules for Hotel Buildings Allowance.
Angela Vickers, managing director, said: "In this difficult economic climate, we recognise that consumers are cutting their costs and we have responded to this need by ensuring that our rates remain extremely competitive.
"Our success has been built upon the added value we provide as standard and despite the credit crunch, we are continuing to invest in our products to maintain our high quality standards and customer service excellence"
The company has paid £22m for new premises at Serjeants' Inn in Central London and plans to transform part of the property into a 4-star deluxe hotel.
With a total development programme of £144 million, the company is looking to increase bed stock by 80% by 2010.
By Gemma Sharkey
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