At the Annual General Meeting today, David Newbigging, Chairman, made the following comments in relation to current trading.
“The first 20 weeks of the current financial year have been characterised by two contrasting periods.
In the first 12 weeks Thistle traded very satisfactorily, demonstrating the increasing success of the new strategy and investment programme implemented over the last three years. Total revenue growth compared with last year was 11.9% with growth in Revenue per available room (“Revpar”) of 13.2%. Revpar in London grew by 13.2%, driven by strong rate growth, as we continue to increase the number of business travellers as a percent of our overall customers, but offset by lower occupancy, particularly at weekends. Outside London*, Revpar growth was 14.3% with gains in both occupancy and achieved average room rate.
From April onwards we have been hit by two external factors which have adversely affected our business in the subsequent 8 weeks; the slowdown in the US economy and foot and mouth disease in the UK. As a result, revenue growth over this 8-week period slowed to 1.8% ahead of last year and Revpar to 2.1% ahead. In aggregate over the first 20 weeks we achieved a total revenue growth of 7.5% on the comparative period last year and Revpar increased by 8.2%.
Looking ahead, the slowdown in the US economy and foot and mouth disease in the UK are likely to continue to have an adverse effect for the remainder of the year on both business travel and inbound tourism.”
* In this financial year the Heathrow Hotel has been re-classified from London to the Regions.