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Profits soar at London's hotels

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An increase in average room rates helped London’s hoteliers to a profitable September, allowing them to bounce back from a decline in August, according to a survey.

Profit per room increased by 10.4 per cent at London’s hotels last month, HotStats’ UK chain hotels market review found. The average profit per room was £85.64, some 24 per cent more than the year-to-date average and approximately 14 per cent above the £74.84 measured before the recession in September 2007.

Last month also saw an increase of 8.8 per cent in the revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the capital when compared to last year. ReVPAR reached £122.71 during September, according to the survey, compiled by TRI Hospitality Consulting.

TRI managing director Jonathan Langston said strong rate rises, mostly in the corporate and residential conference sectors, helped drive RevPAR growth in London. Average room rates paid by residential conferences went up by 16 per cent to reach £164.92, while rates from corporates increased by 14.6 per cent to hit £158.06.

Langston said: “Three years on from the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the increase in headline performance levels this month is further evidence, if it was needed, that hoteliers in the capital have put the memory of the crash in the hotel market in September 2008 firmly behind them.

“The growth in headline performance levels this month has clearly been driven by the commercial sector, echoing the recent European Cities Monitor by Cushman & Wakefield which states that London remains the best European city for business.”

However, London’s hotels did experience a drop of two per cent in meeting room revenue, while food and beverage revenue fell by 2.2 per cent per available room, according to the survey. Occupancy levels dropped to 86.5 per cent from 87.2 per cent in the same month last year.

Elsewhere in the UK, Birmingham’s hotels enjoyed a RevPAR rise of 4.3 per cent as average room rates in the city hit £78.56. But the news was not so good for hoteliers in Liverpool, who experienced a drop in profit per room to £28.51.

The average RevPAR for hotels across the country went up by 1.9 per cent, although rising costs weighed on the profit per room, which was two per cent down on the same point last year at £36.




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