Best Western sells 4,25-plus more hotel rooms this half-year

02 December 2009 by
Best Western sells 4,25-plus more hotel rooms this half-year

Marketing consortium Best Western hotels has increased its like-for-like sales in the six months to 31 October 2009, with members selling in excess of 4,250 rooms (or 1%) more than during the same period of 2008.

"Although this isn't a significant rise, given the current economic climate, it's a good performance," David Clarke, chief executive of Best Western, told the company's first Investors' Forum in the City.

He went added that he was confident about the future with the 280 independently-owned hotels under the Best Western banner benefitting from the staycation.

Delegates, who included more than 100 hotel owners, investors, property agents and financers, were told that this trend was set to continue, with 70% of UK residents planning to take a national break.

The forum also heard that recessions can be a good time for equity-rich investors. "Distressed sales are tending to be the focus of equity-rich buyers, and these sales are likely to continue or even increase in the year ahead, although some buyers are still holding off in the hope of bigger bargains," said Paul Hardwick, director of specialist leisure property agents Fleurets.

"However, portfolio and major asset transactions are likely to remain thin on the ground, with new developments likely to be focussed on the budget sector.

"Transactions have proceeded well where vendor expectations are realistic and prices properly reflect the physical nature and condition of the hotel and both past and likely future trading performance."

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By Janet Harmer

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