Three luxury London hotels and the management company that runs them posted a multi-million-pound profit in 2018, following a complex restructure by their owners, the Qatari royal family.
The Qatari royal family took control of Claridge's (pictured), the Berkeley and the Connaught, along with management company Maybourne Hotels, in a 2015 deal with Irish businessman Paddy McKillen through Constellation Hotels.
In 2017, the group refinanced and restructured, with Selene Midco Limited acquiring Maybourne Hotels, the Connaught Hotel, and the Berkeley Hotel from Coroin Limited for £338m.
Selene Midco, whose ultimate parent company is Luxembourg-registered Prime Capital SA, is ultimately controlled by former Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani.
Meanwhile Coroin, which still owns Claridge's and the adjoining investment property 41-43 Brook Street, is ultimately controlled by the former emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani through Luxembourg-based Regis Investments SA.
Selene Midco is also in the process of building new private apartments at 33-39 Knightsbridge with access to the Berkeley's services. It posted revenue of £107.6m for the year to 31 December 2018 and made a pre-tax profit for the period of £325.6m.
The accounts revealed that revpar at the Berkeley grew by 10.6% in 2018, up from 6.7% in 2017. The growth in average daily rate also accelerated to 10%, up from 8.3% in the prior year. Total revenue was up by 11.9% and EBITDA improved by 19.2%.
Meanwhile, at the Connaught, revpar grew by 18.6% in 2018, up from 16.3% the year before. The average daily rate increased by 13.5%, up from 11%, while total revenue growth was up by 17.1%. EBITDA increased by 22%.
Revenue on continuing operations at Claridge's owner Coroin fell slightly to £67m, down from £71m in 2017, while the business made a pre-tax loss of nearly £4.8m. The group said it would continue to invest in Claridge's which is undergoing development works. Last year a terrace restaurant and 21 new suites opened at the hotel, while a swimming pool, shops and a bakery are being developed in the basement. A major refurbishment of 41-43 Brook Street, adjacent to the hotel, is also planned.
Coroin director Michele Faissola said: "The group's projections for 2019 and 2020 forecast softening in operating profit and cash flows reflecting the development works that continue to the basement and have started in the upper part of the hotel."
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