Hotel developer, owner and operator PPHE Hotel Group has said it is encouraged by the amount of meeting and event enquiries across its UK portfolio, which are at the highest level since the start of the pandemic, albeit still some way behind 2019.
In its results for the six months to 30 June 2021, the group said overall trading had been "subdued" due to restrictions in place for much of the first half.
However, an agreement with the Department for Health and Social Care to provide quarantine accommodation at its Park Plaza London Waterloo and Park Plaza Victoria hotels, and for its Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London to be the exclusive hotel for 2021 Wimbledon Championships players and their teams, provided a secure revenue stream in the recovery period.
As a result, in the first half of 2021 the group's total revenue declined by 58.4% to £25.8m and revenue per available room (revpar) declined by 68.6%, with occupancy of 12.8% compared with 34.7% in the first half of 2020. Average room rate declined by 15% to £95.2.
Consequently, PPHE reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) loss of £14m and a pre-tax loss of £50.3m. By the end of the second quarter, all the group's UK properties were open and trading, with booking demand "gradually improving" with short lead times.
Earlier this summer PPHE also announced it had entered into a long-term partnership with Clal insurance, unlocking £113.7m of equity and providing the group with additional liquidity to pursue new growth opportunities and support its recovery.
Further developments planned include a 465-bedroom hotel adjacent to the Park Plaza London Park Royal and a hotel at 79-87 Westminster Bridge Road.
Boris Ivesha, president and chief executive of PPHE Hotel Group, said: "We were delighted to welcome back guests to our properties and see improving demand as restrictions eased across our markets in Q2 following a long period of lockdown measures and ongoing domestic and international travel restrictions which impacted trading in the period.
"In the period, we secured some exclusive contracts across several of our London properties and our flagship Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London was the proud host hotel for the players and support teams of the Wimbledon Championships. We also continued to make progress on our £200m+ development pipeline and through a partnership on two London properties we were able to unlock £113.7m of equity at the group's latest NAV to grow our group to further increase our financial flexibility and support our recovery.
"Post period end, we have seen the increasing trend for leisure demand continue, while the number of enquiries for meetings and events in the UK is at the highest level since the pandemic started."