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Millennium & Copthorne cheered by UK recovery

05 August 2004
Millennium & Copthorne cheered by UK recovery

The recovery in London hotel market and the UK regions is continuing apace, with prospects for the rest of year looking encouraging, hotel chain Millennium & Copthorne (M&C) said today.

After a tough 2003, M&C today posted upbeat figures for the six months to 30 June 2004, reporting interim pre-tax profits up to £20.6m, from a loss of £6.3m at the same point last year.

Group turnover was up by 131% to £35.8m, although last year's figure of £15.5m had been affected by £7m of pre-opening expenses for its Millenium Hilton in New York.

Occupancy levels across the group were up to 69.5%, from 61.1% in 2003, with growth in all regions.

The average room rate was £59.68, from £60.74 in 2003, with group revenue per available room up by 12%, including "significant" improvements in New York, London and Asia.

Chairman Kwek Leng Beng said the group's recovery was firmly on track. "The improving trend that we saw in the second half of 2003 and in the first quarter has continued. We are particularly encouraged by the significant improvements achieved in our key markets of New York, London and Asia."

Occupancy in London was 78.5%, up from 74.5% last time round.

The average rate was £79.45, against £73.63, with revenue per available room of £62.37, up from £54.85.

The Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington had done well, with increased levels of business from aircrew, corporate travellers and tourists.

Food and beverage revenues in the capital also showed improvement, said Leng Beng.

Outside London, occupancy for the regions was 73.2%, up from 71% in 2003. The average rate was £65.35, against £64, and the resultant revpar was £47.84, up from £45.44.

Trading at M&C's two airport hotels near Gatwick reflected increasing volumes of airline passengers, recording a combined year-on-year revpar growth of 12%.

by Nic Paton

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