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Rubens refurbishment drives Red Carnation revenue increase

20 September 2019 by
Rubens refurbishment drives Red Carnation revenue increase

The companies behind hotel group Red Carnation's UK operations enjoyed a strong increase in revenue in 2018, following the completion of a major refurbishment of the Rubens at the Palace hotel in Westminster.

Chesterfield (Mayfair), the company that operates Red Carnation's six London hotels and bbar restaurant in Victoria, saw revenue grow to £45.7m for the year to 31 December 2018, up from £41.6m the year before.

The jump in revenue reflected the reopening of the 163-bedroom Rubens and the adjoining Hotel 41 at the end of 2017, after a multimillion-pound revamp overseen by Red Carnation's founder Bea Tollman. All of the Rubens' rooms were refurbished while two new restaurants – the brasserie-style English Grill, and the Curry Room – were introduced. The refurbishment saw the hotel awarded a five-star rating by the AA in 2018.

As a result of the refurbishment costs, Chesterfield (Mayfair) made a pre-tax loss of just under £6m, compared to a £7m loss in 2017. The group's total liabilities now exceed total assets by £58.8m but it said it was able to mitigate the risk of an economic downturn thanks to financial support from its British Virgin Islands-registered parent company, The Travel Corporation.

Meanwhile, management company Red Carnation Hotels (UK) also enjoyed an increase in revenue during 2018 to £9.6m, up from £9.3m the year before. Pre-tax profit was flat at £640,000 (compared to £646,000 in 2017).

In addition to the Rubens, Hotel 41 and the adjoining bbar restaurant and cocktail bar, Red Carnation also runs London hotels The Milestone in Kensington, the five-star Egerton House hotel in Kensington, the Chesterfield Mayfair, and Montague on the Gardens in Bloomsbury.

Its other UK operations include Summer Lodge and the Acorn Inn, both in Evershot, Dorset. Acorn Pub Management Services saw an increase in revenue to £924,061 for the year, up nearly £100,000 on 2017's total of £834,319. The firm's pre-tax loss also narrowed from £41,340 in 2017 to £8,579 in 2018.

Annual accounts for Summer Lodge Management are not yet available in Companies House.

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