Luxury group Orient-Express Hotels has experienced a “flat” UK outbound market as it nears the end of a “challenging” financial year.

The comments came from president and chief executive Paul White as the company reported a 21% rise in adjusted EBITDA to $37.1 million for the third quarter ending September 30 against the same period last year.

The company, which owns or part-owns and manages 50 hotels, restaurants, tourist trains and river cruisers in 24 countries, saw a strong performance from its European, Asian, Brazilian and South African businesses.

Revenue from owned hotels was up by $18 million to $132 million, revenue from trains and cruises was down marginally to $23.6 million from £23.9 million.

White said: “The third quarter has traditionally been our strongest trading quarter, and this has proven to be the case in 2010,” said Paul White, president and chief executive officer.

“RevPAR growth of 14% and a 140 basis points positive movement in margins underpinned the 21% increase in EBITDA before real estate and impairment.

“Our Italian hotels had a particularly strong quarter, as did Hotel Ritz Madrid, as Europe showed good growth. Our Asian, Brazilian and South African portfolios performed well, with same store local currency RevPAR up 18%, 33% and 57%, respectively.”

He added: “The UK outbound market has remained flat and the star emerging market was Brazil, up 47% year to date. The US and UK markets have historically been responsible for some 50% of Orient-Express’ revenues.

“These markets, along with stronger domestic markets, such as Brazil, Russia and Italy, should see the business outlook for 2011 continue to strengthen and keep us on track to achieve our net debt to EBITDA goal of below five times.”