Orient-Express Hotels fears the strength of the euro will stifle inbound tourism during 2005.
Speaking today at the release of the company's full-year results to 31 December 2004, chairman James Sherwood said trading had been strong in all regions except Europe during the final three months of the year.
Forecasting that the strong performance would continue throughout 2005, he said: "We are concerned about the strength of the euro against the dollar and its impact on European travel."
Despite this, the company's 49 hotels and restaurant interests across the world supplied a sufficiently diverse mix to drive turnover up 12%, from $329.5m (£173m) to $369m (£193m) for the year. Net earnings before tax increased by 20% to $33.44m, from $26.65m in 2003.
The company has this month acquired a majority stake in the 301-bedroom Grand Hotel Europe in St Petersburg and will now manage the property. The City of St Petersburg has retained a 6.5% share in the business.
by Chris Druce
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