Ham Yard hotel drives record results for Firmdale
Boutique hotel company Firmdale Holdings has announced record financial results for the year ended 31 January 2015, with revenues up 24 % to £99.6m.
Co-founder and chairman Tim Kemp said: "Against a challenging background, Firmdale has delivered its strongest operating performance to date."
He added: "The highlight of the year was the opening of the group's Ham Yard hotel. With its 91 bedrooms, 24 longer-stay apartments, 13 retail units and unique entertaining spaces it has performed exceptionally well. The Ham Yard hotel contributed £15.4m of revenue in just eight months of operation."
However, the results also recorded a £35.3m pre-tax loss for the 12-month period. The majority of this was caused by a £27.9m exceptional charge levied by Barclays Bank after Firmdale cancelled hedging contracts when it refinanced its loans.
Kemp, who founded the chic, award-winning company with his wife Kit, a designer, in 1985, took legal action to get the money back last year.
A spokesman declined to comment as it is an ongoing legal matter. However, in a statement to The Telegraph (25 July), Kemp said: "We had four swaps as part of our hedging policy that we took out in 2006 and 2007. In order to refinance, we found we had to pay the swaps off." He added: "I think we're going to get this money back."
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A Barclays spokesman has said it will be "vigorously" defending the claim. A redress programme set up in 2012 has seen banks pay out £1.8b to about 11,000 small firms that were mis-sold complex hedging products.
Firmdale has eight hotels in London, including the Soho and Haymarket hotels. It also has the Crosby Street hotel in New York. Construction on a second New York hotel, the Whitby Hotel in Manhattan, is under way and scheduled for an autumn opening next year.
Commenting on the New York market, Kemp said: "Crosby Street continues to go from strength to strength, with revenues rising 7.5% year on year to $32m."
Kemp is believed to be negotiating on two more sites in London and New York.
Hotels: Ham Yard, London in photos >>
Barclays provides £188m funding to finance growth of Firmdale Hotels >>