Whitbread Hotel Company, the hotel franchise business of Whitbread, returned like-for-like growth in the 12 months to March 2005, for the first time in three years.
The accounts run until March, the month Whitbread agreed the sale of its 46 franchised Marriot hotels into a joint venture with franchisor Marriott International.
However, the £79m sale of 11 Courtyard hotels to Kew Green Hotels in November 2004 meant turnover fell 0.3% to £393.1m (2003/4: £394.2m).
As a result of the disposal profit before tax was up 39.1% at £65.1m (2003/2004: £46.8m).
Whitbread said underlying growth was flat and added its London hotels had been affected by the weakness of the US dollar, which had subdued demand from American business travellers.
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