Despite a third-quarter, pre-tax profit slump, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels has suggested that the worst of the downturn in the hospitality sector may be over as its decline in revPAR slows and bookings show some positive momentum.
The chain is opening a hotel in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is looking for sites in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. The company was the first to announce hotel plans for Iraq
M&C, which operates 120 hotels across the world, revealed revPAR dropped by 17.7 percent in the third quarter compared with a fall of 21.3 percent in the second quarter. That trend continued into October, with RevPAR down by 12.8 percent on last year.
Pre-tax profit fell to £21.9 million in the quarter, down from £30 million at the same time last year.
“I believe that the industry is moving in the right direction. The rate of decline of our global RevPAR has slowed quarter-on-quarter and this trend has continued into October,” said Chairman Kwek Leng Beng.
“While it is too early to predict with accuracy how markets will behave in 2010 we are encouraged by these improving trends which suggest that the worst may be behind us,” he added.