Commenting on the results, Chief Executive Officer, Ian Burke said:
Revenue for the first eight weeks of the current year in our 18 owned or leased hotels is 1% ahead of the comparable period in 2002.
Our policy has been, and will continue to be, to contain costs and to generate and conserve cash in what we anticipate will be an uncertain economic climate in the months ahead.
David Newbigging, Chairman, said Following discussion with the two largest shareholders, who between them control approximately 66% of the Company, the Board decided to retain the surplus cash in the Company for the time being. However, depending on the outcome of the announcement made by BIL International Limited on 21 February 2003 regarding a possible offer for Thistle, this policy will be reviewed to seek to ensure that full value for this cash is obtained by all shareholders.
Thistle is the largest hotel operator in London with 22 hotels in prime locations throughout the capital and has hotels in key regional cities of England, Scotland and Wales.
There are 56 Thistle Hotels, of which 18 are owned or leased and 38 are managed. There are a total of 10,718 bedrooms of which 5,204 are in owned or leased hotels and 5,514 are in managed hotels. In London there are 4,747 rooms in 16 owned or leased hotels and 1,268 rooms in 6 managed hotels. In the Regions there are 457 rooms in 2 owned or leased hotels and 4,246 rooms in 32 managed hotels.
Thistle`s London hotels include the Thistle Tower, the Thistle Charing Cross, the Thistle Marble Arch, the Thistle City Barbican, the Thistle Victoria and The Royal Horseguards. Thistle operates hotels in Aberdeen, Bristol, Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle among other regional centres as well as hotels at airports in Aberdeen, East Midlands, Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton and Manchester.
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