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London hotels were hit by the banking crisis with both occupancy and profit down for September, said TRI Hospitality Consulting.
Its latest HotStats for the month, covering 108 properties, found that profits (income before fixed charges) fell by 10.9% to £66.66 for each available room.
Average occupancy also dropped from 86.8% in September 2007 to 82.7% last month.TRI said that the collapse of Lehman Brothers and crisis in the banking sector had a "negative impact on rack and corporate lets, particularly for five-star hotels and Docklands and the City."This was in contrast to five-star properties in London's West End which stayed buoyant thanks to demand from the Middle East.The loss of rack and high-paying corporate bookings helped daily room rates fall by 1.9% to £118.20.Revenue per available room (REVpar) also fell by 6.6 per cent to £97.74.Jonathan Langston, TRI's managing director, said: "September's events were unprecedented and had a direct impact on some hotels in London's financial district."With mounting evidence that the credit crisis is now feeding into all aspects of the global economy, competition for business is likely to intensify for all London hotels."Hotels in the UK regions also suffered a drop in profits and occupancy during September for the fifth month running.Average occupancy was down by 2.2% to 76.6% while income dropped by 10.2% to £41.01 per room.There was also a drop in the volume of conference lets from 17.2% last September to 12.7% this September, indicating a tightening of corporate expenditure.Mr Langston said: "Companies are bracing themselves for tough times. Many have already revised down this year's travel and accommodation budgets causing an immediate impact on hotel bookings."Many are requesting a price freeze in 2009 which will make rate growth an increasing challenge next year."Visit www.trihospitality.com