First-quarter net profit falls 46.7% for M&C Hotels on strong pound

The Grand Millennium Hotel Sulaimani, the third in Iraq, is managed by Millennium & Copthorne. -- FILE PHOTO: MILLENNIUM & COPTHORNE HOTELS
The Grand Millennium Hotel Sulaimani, the third in Iraq, is managed by Millennium & Copthorne. -- FILE PHOTO: MILLENNIUM & COPTHORNE HOTELS

SINGAPORE - Hotel group Millennium & Copthorne (M&C) Hotels has posted a 46.7 per cent drop in first-quarter net profit over a year ago to 6.5 million pounds (S$13.8 million), partly due to unfavourable exchange rate movements as the pound appreciated.

The group, which is the hotel arm of Singapore-listed property developer City Developments, saw its revenue dip 0.3 per cent to 175.3 million pounds in the first three months of the year.

Operating profit fell 8.6 per cent to 22.2 million pounds.

"Steady hotel trading and higher property sales (were) counterbalanced by adverse foreign exchange movements," said M&C in a statement on Friday.

On a constant currency basis, group revenue would have risen 5.9 per cent in the first quarter from a year ago.

"Whilst reported revenues and profits fell because of the strong pound, the group enjoyed stable underlying trading during the first quarter," said M&C chairman Kwek Leng Beng.

"We made good progress on strategic growth initiatives, including completion of The Chelsea Harbour Hotel acquisition. With Europe and US showing signs of increasing stability, we remain cautiously optimistic about the rest of the year."

The group completed the acquisition of The Chelsea Harbour Hotel in March this year and is scheduled to complete the purchase of Novotel Times Square in New York in June.