Travelodge books a £71m loss as new owners plan king-size refit

TRAVELODGE, the first budget hotel brand to launch in the UK in 1985, made a pre-tax loss of £71.1m last year, but managed to halve its losses as new investors seized control.

The low cost chain’s losses slumped from £148.1m in 2011 to £71.1m in the year to 31 December 2012, Companies House accounts show. Meanwhile, revenues soared to £391.4m from £369.5m in the 2011 financial year. Travelodge, which competes with Premier Inn and others, was taken over by Wall Street hedge funds GoldenTree Asset Management and Avenue Capital Group, together with Goldman Sachs, last year.

Accounts for the firm’s new parent company, Thame and London Limited, show the group had debts of £431.7m at the end of last year, down from more than £1bn prior to the restructuring.

Travelodge said that now it had solid finance in place it is planning a £57m refit. The chain said it had been listening to customers and “the hero of the new Travelodge room is a luxurious king size bed that is normally found in high end hotels.” The group is searching for a new chief executive after long-standing boss Grant Hearn announced he was standing down.