Strategic Meetings Summit London, 26 September,
September 29 2022, Kimpton Fitzroy London
Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
Focus on "conserving cash" as revPAR drops sharply
Hotel group Millennium & Copthorne (M&C) has halved its full-year share dividend following a fall in revenue per available room (revPAR) of 7.6% in the last quarter of 2008.
M&C's share price plummeted from 255p to just over 170p following the news, but has since risen to 195p at close of trading in London last night.
The group, which owns or operates 103 hotels worldwide, said it anticipates "challenging trading conditions" this year, underlined by a further 21.2% fall in revPAR for the first five weeks of 2009.
RevPAR in New York was the worst hit, suffering a 41% decline for the first five weeks of 2009. London was the least affected market at 4%.
"There's just been a complete deceleration of demand worldwide, led by the banking and finance sectors. The drop in corporate meetings and group activities is pretty serious," said M&C's chief executive Richard Hartman, a London newspaper reported.
Final-year operating profits rose from £118.3m to £125.9m year-on-year, while revenues increased from £669.6m to £702.9m. Pre-tax profits, after exceptional items, fell from £157.4m to £102.8m.
"I believe that with a continued policy of tough, prudent and analytical management we can steer our ship through the roughest of waters.
"When calm returns to the world economic scene - as eventually it must - we will have secured an enviable competitive position from which we may exploit the best commercial opportunities that become available."