Millennium & Copthorne warns over fragile state of the global economy

MILLENNIUM & Copthorne (M&C) yesterday posted a 65 per cent rise in first-half pre-tax profit but said it was cautious about the economy over the next 18 months.

The London-based hotel chain, which runs more than 120 hotels in 19 countries, declared an interim dividend of 2.08p, unchanged from last year.

“We will continue to be cautious in our approach, maintaining a tight rein on costs and testing very carefully our investment plans,” said chairman Kwek Leng Beng.

For the six months to 30 June, pre-tax profit rose to £50.2m from £30.5m last year.

Total revenue rose 11 per cent to £350.5m.

M&C said revenue per available room, a key industry measure of takings, rose 11 per cent.

“We are there in big cities where most of our income comes from, and all those cities have experienced very good growth,” chief executive Richard Hartman said.

The company, which derives about 90 per cent of its earnings from 20 per cent of its hotels, did not receive any attractive offers for the 23 hotels which it has recently reviewed, he said.

“There are an awful lot of things that we can do with our assets to make things more accretive to the company,” Hartman added.