M&C Hotels' first-half profit rises, sees markets weakening

Thu Aug 2, 2012 2:46am EDT

Aug 2 (Reuters) - Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Plc's headline profit rose 31 percent in the first half, helped by stronger growth in Asia, but the hotelier said it was seeing a slowdown in some hospitality markets as a result of the euro-zone crisis.

The group, majority-owned by Chairman Kwek Leng Beng's Singapore-based property company City Developments Ltd , said headline pretax profit rose to 78.3 million pounds ($122.06 million) from 59.8 million pounds profit a year earlier.

Revenue rose 1 percent to 373.9 million pounds.

Revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key industry measure, rose 5.2 percent on a constant currency basis, driven by higher prices.

Asia RevPAR rose 14.2 percent. About a fifth of the company's hotels are in Asia, according to its latest annual report.

However, the second half did not get off to a strong start. On a like-for-like basis, group RevPAR fell 4.2 percent for the first 24 days of July, M&C said.

London RevPAR dropped 12.5 percent in the period, in part due to a slowdown in visitor numbers ahead of the Olympics.

"While trading has been in line with management expectations, it is evident that some hospitality markets may be softening as a result of the euro crisis and global economic uncertainty," the chairman said in a statement.

M&C's shares, which have risen 18 percent so far this year, closed at 481.3 pence on Wednesday on the London Stock Exchange.