First quarter profits at Millennium & Copthorne Hotels more than halved as key properties in London and Singapore were refurbished.

The pre-tax profit dropped by £15 million year-on-year to £11 million from £26 million.

Group revenue per available room (revpar) was down by 0.9% to £70.01.

The operating performance was negatively impacted by refurbishment affecting major hotels in two of the group’s key gateway cities of London and Singapore, M&C said.

The Mayfair London property was partially closed in November 2017 and then fully closed in July 2018. The Orchard Hotel in Singapore has been under phased refurbishment since middle 2017.

“Profit was impacted by the Mayfair property refurbishment and lower contributions from Asian hotels, principally due to the Orchard Hotel Singapore refurbishment,” the company said.

M&C is in the final stage of discussions with Hilton regarding the operation of the newly renamed Millennium Times Square New York, formerly known as the Millennium Broadway New York Times Square, as an affiliate of Hilton, with access to its reservation channels and loyalty scheme.

Company chairman Kwek Leng Beng said: “Despite the uncertainties and challenges in the global economy, we remain focused on making the best use of our hospitality assets. “The group is prioritising the refurbishment of our key gateway city properties to reposition our hotels, whilst seeking to minimise the short-term negative impact on our trading results.

“Operationally, we must successfully manage the refurbishment process and re-focus our sales efforts so as to improve yields.

“To that end, the affiliation agreement with Hilton for the Millennium Times Square New York will allow us to continue to manage one of our most significant hotels and help us to turn around the performance of the hotel more quickly.”