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Economy in ‘uncharted territory', warns Malmaison owner

28 April 2009 by
Economy in ‘uncharted territory', warns Malmaison owner

The owner of boutique hotel chains Malmaison and Hotel du Vin today warned that the economy was entering "uncharted territory".

Unveiling annual results for the 12 months to December 31, Marylebone Warwick Balfour (MWB) admitted that "business as usual is not an option" and said it would have to "work longer and harder" to meet the challenges ahead.

The company opened four hotels during the period but admitted that it did not plan on opening any new properties in 2009 and will instead focus on consolidating its existing assets to preserve cashflow.

Richard Balfour-Lynn, MWB chief executive, said: "Without a doubt we have entered unchartered territory. While 2008 was difficult, the current year will be even tougher. As a result it has become almost impossible for companies to predict when they will move into a period of stability.

"We will have to work harder and longer to meet the challenges ahead. In short, business as usual is not an option."

Malmaison and Hotel du Vin increased revenue by 13% to £108m (2007: £95m), but both chains saw a slight loss in revenue per available room, down from £113 to £112 and £124 to £120 respectively.

MWB, which also owns the Liberty department store, reported a fall in its property values of 14% to £566m (2007: £606m)

The group extended its lending facilities of £348m, provided by Bank of Scotland and Royal Bank of Scotland, from 31 December 2009 to 31 December 2011.

Mal and HdV puts expansion plans on hold >>

Interview: Richard Balfour-Lynn on De Vere, Malmaison and Searcys >>

Marylebone Warwick Balfour launches Pub du Vin >>

Malmaison looks east for international expansion >>

By Gemma Sharkey

E-mail your comments to Gemma Sharkey here.

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