Marylebone Warwick Balfour (MWB) has admitted that it has "no idea" whether it will be able to meet its end of year deadline for selling Malmaison and Hotel du Vin.
Richard Balfour-Lynn, chief executive of MWB, said that although he continued to field interest in the hotels from third parties, he was sceptical of their ability to fund a deal.
Last year, the company twice got close to selling its hotel business
The comments came as MWB reported a 17% rise in underlying 2007 earnings, excluding property disposals and one-off costs, to £33.3m.
Malmaison and Hotel du Vin helped to lift revenue by 20% to £95.3m, with like-for-like sales up 5.3%. Occupancy remained steady at 81% and the room rate rose by 8% to £115.
It opened five hotels during the year and has a further five in the pipeline, while negotiations on properties in Chester and Canterbury are close to completion.
Separately, Balfour-Lynn confirmed Caterer's exclusive that the Alternative Hotel Group would be closing the De Vere Group headquarters in Warrington with the loss of an unspecified number of jobs.
By Daniel Thomas
E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.