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M&C figures point to recovery

04 November 2004 by

The recovery in the hotel market remains strong, latest figures from hotel chain Millennium & Copthorne (M&C) showed today.

In the nine months to 30 September, occupancy, revenue per available room (revpar) and profits had all been moving in the right direction, the chain said.

Profits in the third quarter of the year came in at £13.3m, double what they were during the same three months in 2003.

Group revpar improved in all regions, driven by stronger occupancy levels and room rates.

Especially promising had been the performance of M&C's regional US market.

Chairman Kwek Leng Beng said: "The improving trend we reported in August has continued into the third quarter.

"We are encouraged by the rise in revpar across the group and by the improvement in the regional US performance."

For the three-month period, turnover came in at £134.8m, up slightly from £134.6m in 2003, with operating profit at £22m, from £14.5m.

For the nine months, turnover was £397.5m, against £377.6m, with operating profit at £57.8m, from £30m, and pre-tax profit at £33.9m, compared with just £300,000 in the same period in 2003.

Occupancy for the three months was 75.1%, up from 68.7%, and the average room rate was 2% up at £57.52, from £56.40, resulting in an 11.5% increase in revpar of £43.20, from £38.75 in 2003.

Including the Millenium Hilton in New York in the equation, which only reopened in the third quarter of last year, group revpar was up by 13.1% on the equivalent period in 2003.

London revpar was up by 12%, with regional UK operations up by 6.1%, Kwek said.

M&C had also completed the sale of the Plaza hotel in New York for £370m and had agreed to sell its Sydney marina and shopping centre interests for £45m.

Group revpar in October continued to be positive, up by 9% on 2003, Kwek added.

by Nic Paton

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