Millennium & Copthorne Hotels has blamed the New Zealand earthquake for a fall in its first quarter pre-tax profit.
The London-based firm suffered a 2.5% drop in underlying pre-tax profit to £19.8m on a constant currency basis, first quarter results to 31 March 2011 show.
The company, which operates more than 100 hotels worldwide, said it was affected by the continuing closure of three hotels in New Zealand as a result of the February earthquake in Christchurch.
It also attributed refurbishment work at a hotel in Seoul, declining revenues from a hotel in Singapore prior to its closure and asset management initiatives to the fall in revenue.
Despite this, total revenue rose by 8.5% to £174.2m in the first quarter, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels reported. This was largely driven by strong performances in London, Singapore and New York.
Overall revenue per available room (revpar) rose in the first three months of the year, primarily driven by an increase in average room rate. Revpar increased by 9.3% in London, 8.5% in Singapore and was up 4.1% in New York.
Millennium & Copthorne Hotels cautioned that improvement in the global hospitality market will be less marked in 2011 than last year, with economic recovery remaining mixed away from the big global gateway cities, particularly in Europe and the United States, and the earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan also impacting revenues in Australasia and parts of Asia.
Chairman Kwek Leng Beng said: "The group's very strong financial position gives it the means to meet these short-term challenges and continue to focus on long-term strategic goals."
By Helen Gilbert
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