London proved to be the most resilient market for International hotel firm Millennium & Copthorne hotels over 2009.
Revenue per available room (revpar) in the company's London hotels declined by just 2.5% for the year. Overall, the company, which operates 120 hotels in 19 countries, saw a 16.3% decrease in revpar throughout the year.
Full-year revenue at the company fell by16.8% (excluding currency variations) to £654m from £703m the year before. Pre-tax profit dropped by 31.9% (excluding currency variations) to £81.9m.
Overall group revpar stood at £56.13 for the fourth quarter of 2009, down from £59.79 in the same period of 2008.
While the London market held up well, others, particularly New York and Singapore suffered, although the situation improved towards the end of the year. New York saw a severe revpar decline of 37.8% in the first quarter, falling to 11.7% in the fourth, while Singapore's saw a second quarter decline of 44.5%, easing to 18.9% in the fourth quarter.
Millennium & Copthorne opened three new hotels under management contract throughout the year: the 158-room Copthorne Hotel, Sheffield; the 306-room Millennium Wuxi in China; and the 343-room Millennium Chengdu, China. It closed the 299-room Wynfield Inn Orlando Convention Centre in the US, and the management contract for the 304-room Millennium Oy Oun Hotel in Sharm el Sheik in Egypt ended.
The hotel firm also managed to shrink its debt pile, with net debt reduced by £82.6m to £202.5m.
Chairman Kwek Leng Beng said: "For the year as a whole the results are very pleasing owing in large part to tough, prudent and analytical management which has served us well in navigating through stormy seas to calmer waters. We have benefitted from a wide geographical spread of properties which has smoothed the overall impact of the economic crisis."
By Neil Gerrard
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