Weak sterling boosts Millennium & Copthorne Hotels profits

Weak sterling boosts Millennium & Copthorne Hotels profits

The impact of the Brexit vote on the value of sterling gave a boost to revenue and profits at Millennium & Copthorne Hotels.

Higher levels of inbound tourism also helped increase occupancy at the group’s London hotels by 4.8% to 92% over the summer.

“The steep fall in the value of sterling after the June 23 referendum had a significant impact on group's results, with exchange gains adding £43 million and £7 million to reported revenue and profit before tax respectively for the first nine months of 2016,” M&C reported in a trading update this morning.

However, revenue per available room (revpar) for the first nine months of the year dropped by 3.2% to £73.94 as hotel revenue fell by 2.8% to £581 million, mainly due to continued weak trading in New York and Singapore.

Pre-tax profits for the three months to September 30 increased by £4 million to £46 million year-on-year on a constant currency basis.

Trading for the three weeks ending October 21 has seen London revpar drop by 15%, New York by 14.2% and Singapore by 14%, partially offset by growth in Australasia of 17.3%.

The company revealed that chief executive Aloysius Lee is to retire in the first quarter of 2017 with a successor to be announced “in due course”.

M&C chairman Kwek Leng Beng said: "Our London hotels have seen some positive benefits from leisure travellers following the EU referendum in June 2016 although the outlook for the UK economy is uncertain.

“We have also seen an improving trend in the regional US and growth in the New Zealand markets; and benefitted from favourable foreign exchange movements.

“However, trading of our New York and Singapore hotels was disappointing and we continued to focus on improving margins.

“We are monitoring the performance in all our markets closely and the group's financial position remains strong.

“The group has a long term perspective and considers asset ownership as key to its strategy."

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