Mandarin Oriental, the Hong Kong-based hotel chain, has announced a 44% jump in profits for 2004, putting a difficult 2003 behind it.
Earnings before tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was US$99m (£52.7m), compared with US$68.8m (£36.6m) the previous year.
A spokeswoman for the 21-strong global chain said: "The Sars epidemic in 2003 affected everyone in Asia, particularly Hong Kong.
"Business travel has now come back in a big way, especially from mainland China where new legislation means people can now travel more independently, as opposed to in groups only."
Combined total revenue for managed hotels was up by 23% to US$667.3m (£355.4m) as the luxury hotel group's resurgence was led by its Hong Kong sites. The spokeswoman added that the strong performance of flagship sites in London and New York had aided the recovery.
Chairman Simon Keswick believes the result is not a flash in the pan. "Increased activity in both the corporate and leisure travel segments is expected to continue," he said.
"Mandarin Oriental is well positioned to benefit from this growing demand and from the balanced geographic spread of its portfolio."
The group, which has 10 hotels in Asia, seven in the Americas and four in Europe, opened four new sites last year. It has a further five new hotels under development in Hong Kong, Mexico, Tokyo, Boston and Prague.
by Tom Bill
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