London hotels enjoyed a strong boost to profitability during December 2009 as trading recovered strongly, according to the latest HotStats survey from TRI Hospitality Consulting.
The gross operating profit per available room (GOPpar) grew by 23% as cost-cutting strategies combined with a growth in revenue.
"The strength of the last few months means that in the year as a whole, London hotels suffered a profit fall of just 7.8%," said Jonathan Langston, managing director, TRI Hospitality Consulting. "And this was during what is widely seen as the worst recession since the 1930s."
December 2009 was a positive month for the London hotel market as revenue per available room (RevPAR) grew by 10.1%.
A 5.9% increase in the capital's room occupancy levels to 77.3% and a 1.7% increase in average room rates to £112.41 boosted London's RevPAR levels for December beyond those achieved in both 2008 and 2007.
The strong performance of hotels in December helped to reduce the total RevPAR decline for 2009 as previously anticipated by industry experts. Overall, room occupancy declined by 0.4% in 2009 to 80.3%, which helped to minimise the year-end decrease in RevPAR to 6.4%
Astute management and cost control by London hotelier kept the year-end decline in profitability to 7.8% at £58.64 per available room.
"London hoteliers appear to have got the proposition absolutely right with the massive declines in profitability experienced in January 2009 now a distant memory," said Langston.
"Anticipated revenue growth in 2010 and a continued watchful eye on costs bode well for the capital's hotels."
By Janet Harmer
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