Millennium & Copthorne Hotels has posted an increase in like-for-like pre-tax profit and revenue in its Q1 results, despite suffering a 5% drop in profit before tax overall, which it has blamed on high labour costs and a fall in property income.
In its results published for the first quarter to 31 March 2015, the group posted a profit before tax figure of £19m, compared to £20m in the first quarter of 2014. It attributed this to labour pressures in New York, rising labour costs, and labour shortages in Singapore, as well as the £6m 2014 sale of the company's remaining Glyndebourne condominiums, which made last year's profit disproportionately large in comparison (a £2m shortfall in property income).
Like-for-like profit was actually up 9.9%, excluding the impact of acquisitions, closures, and the impact of the sale of the Glyndebourne properties.
Overall, revenue was up 8% compared to 2014, at £189m compared to £175m, while revpar (revenue per available room) was up 5.8% from £58.23 to £61.60.
In Europe specifically, London revpar was up by 2.3%, and even excluding the Chelsea Harbour Hotel in the city, revpar increased by 0.6%. High revpar at the Millennium Hotel London Mayfair was offset by lower occupancy at Millennium Bailey's Hotel London due to the refurbishment of guestrooms, which is expected to be complete by September this year.
Most of the group's other European hotels posted revpar rises.
Kwek Leng Beng, chairman for Millennium & Copthorne, stated that the results were in line with expectations and the "slower trading pattern" usually seen in Q1. He said: "Overall trading results were… in line with expectations, although it is too early to predict performance for the full year."
He added that the company was focused on maintaining profitability and addressing the workforce issues in New York and Singapore.
The group, which operates in the US, Asia, Europe, and Australasia, has state its pipeline comprises 20 hotels offering 6,657 rooms, with most recent openings including management contracts at Millennium hotels in Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.