February 8, 2018 / 8:21 AM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-Britain's M&C Hotels 2017 revenue rises, but Europe occupancy falls

(Adds revenue figures, company comments, context on sector)

Feb 8 (Reuters) - Millennium & Copthorne Hotels reported on Thursday a 7.9 percent rise in annual revenue per room, helped by a weaker sterling and strong growth across its markets except Europe.

Reported revenue per available room (RevPAR), a key metric that measures a hotel’s financial health, improved in all regions in the fourth quarter, the company said, except in Europe, where it fell 2.9 percent due to a drop in occupancy.

“Concerns about Brexit have affected our UK hotels especially in London, where there were already pressures on labour costs from a recent minimum wage increase,” the company said.

RevPAR rose to 82.78 pounds ($115) for the year ended Dec. 31, from 76.71 pounds a year earlier, said the operator of the Millennium, Grand Millennium, Copthorne and Kingsgate hotels.

On constant currencies, RevPAR was up 3.2 percent, the company said.

The hotelier, which had received a 2-billion-pound buyout offer from Singaporean billionaire Kwek Leng Beng that was blocked by minority shareholders last month, said hotel revenue increased 8.1 percent to 880 million pounds.

Foreign exchange benefit of 39 million pounds and contributions from Millennium Hilton New York One UN Plaza drove the revenue growth, the company said.

The total 2017 revenue grew 8.9 percent to 1.01 billion pounds, while pretax profit increased 36.1 percent to 147 million pounds. ($1 = 0.7190 pounds) (Reporting By Justin George Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)

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