London venues buck January trend

A continuing push on room rates enabled London hotels to increase profit in January despite little change in occupancy levels in the capital, according to the latest Hot Stats survey from consultant TRI Hospitality. The study, which surveyed 523 properties across the UK, reports that income before fixed charges (or gross operating profit) increased by 4.9% in London to £47.97 per available room, compared to January 2007. The profit growth in the capital was the result of 6.5% uplift in achieved average room rate to £111.02. The rest of the UK showed little change in profitability as room rates showed much steadier growth, and a slight drop in occupancy resulted in room revenue growth of 2.1%. However, Nottingham and Leeds hotel markets bucked the trend, enjoying increased profit thanks to growth in occupancy. According to TRI deputy managing director David Bailey, the cities’ hoteliers reported slow corporate demand at the start of the month followed by a rapid pick-up in short-notice bookings. “General corporate activity took a little longer to get going this January compared to the same month last year, but in some provincial markets there was steady profit growth thanks to increased demand,” he said.

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