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De Vere Group remains optimistic despite tough trading

13 February 2006

British hotel and leisure operator De Vere remains optimistic for the year despite tough trading conditions.

In the 18 weeks ended 29 January group turnover increased 4.5% year-on-year, although turnover was actually down 6.8% if property disposals are taken into account.

Like-for-like turnover at its Hotels divisions increased 4% with revenue per available room up 5.3%, excluding resort ownership.

De Vere said the health and fitness sector remained difficult, although its growing Village hotels and leisure club estate boosted total turnover by 10.8%, and like-for-like turnover by 3.4%.

De Vere chairman Peter Daresbury, who retires in April this year, said: "The group reported strong underlying performance in both hotel brands at the year end and sales growth in the new financial year remains encouraging, albeit in an adverse cost environment.

In December chief executive Carl Leaver stated he was cautiously optimistic about the coming year but recognised the ongoing cost pressures would prove a challenge.

By Emily Manson

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