M&C predicts worst is over in hotel slump

HOTELIER Millennium &amp; Copthorne yesterday said the worst of the recession may be over as its rate of revenue decline slowed but warned it could take more than two years for trading to recover to the levels seen in 2007.<br /><br />M&amp;C, which operates 120 hotels across the world, said revenue per available room (Revpar), a key industry measure, slumped 17.7 per cent in the third quarter compared with a fall of 21.3 per cent in the second quarter.<br /><br />For the nine months to 30 September the group reported pre-tax profit of &pound;52.4m, down 41 per cent.<br /><br />M&amp;C said it was comfortable with expectations for the current financial year. The consensus pre-tax profit forecast currently stands at &pound;72m.<br /><br />In October M&amp;C said Revpar was down by 12.8 per cent on last year.&nbsp; The group added that its London hotels saw growth of 0.6 per cent during the month, while New York Revpar fell 17.9 per cent and Singapore was down 26.5 per cent.<br /><br />Chairman Kwek Leng Beng said: &ldquo;I believe that the industry is moving in the right direction. The rate of decline of our global Revpar has slowed quarter-on-quarter and this trend has continued into October.&rdquo;<br /><br />However, M&amp;C&rsquo;s chief executive Richard Hartman said it could take more than two years for the hotel industry to make a full recovery, backing up comments by the chief executive of Intercontinental, Andy Cosslett in August.&nbsp;