UK hotels saw Total Revenue fall by 1% during February compared to the same month a year ago, according to the latest survey by Vision Hospitality Asset Management. Although Revenue per Available Room grew by 1% over the month, a 4% fall in Food & Beverage revenues led to the overall decline in total income.
Throughout the UK, rooms revenue was marginally ahead, driven by rate growth of 7.5% in London and 2.1% in the provinces. This rate growth was, however, achieved at the cost of lower occupancy of almost 7% in London and a little over 1% elsewhere.
As a result of the 1% total revenue reduction, Profit per Available Room fell by almost 5% reflecting the impact of higher costs such as food and energy.
Looking ahead Vision believes the sector will experience extremely mixed fortunes during April because of the large number of bank holidays in the second half of the month and into May. Many hotels are likely to experience a sharp decline in their more profitable corporate market as businesses avoid the last half of April. London, however, will benefit from a rise in leisure travellers visiting the capital for the Royal Wedding.
In contrast, Vision is more bullish about May and June. The asset manager believes hotels will see a revenue uplift as corporate clients re-schedule postponed events such as conferences and travel.
Clive Hillier, CEO of Vision, commented: “The room rate rises are a positive indication for the industry but the decline in Conference, Events and Food & Beverage is still a worrying trend, particularly when combined with the cost pressures within the business.
“Activity in Q2 will need to pick up strongly to compensate for the relatively sluggish start to 2011 and to enable hoteliers achieve their budgets for the year,” he added.