Luxury operator Abercrombie & Kent will make several acquisitions over the next year, according to founder and co-chairman Geoffrey Kent.

Speaking during the Leaders of Luxury conference hosted by Travel Weekly’s sister brand Aspire, Kent said there were many opportunities in the market, and confirmed his brand was “definitely” on the acquisition trail.

He said the longer the pandemic went on, the more mergers and consolidation the industry would see.

He said: “Ironically, this may give us an opportunity for things we haven’t thought of, or not, but yes, we will be acquiring many companies over the next year – so watch this space.”

Kent said he was due to meet with co-chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio after the event and said the pair had “so many plans to be discussing”.

When asked whether he thought the industry would contract, with more mergers and consolidation across the sector, he said: “The longer this goes on, there will have to be mergers and consolidation. Is this going to be [going on] three months into next year? Definitely, but it could be six months and if it is six months there will be a lot of consolidation. If this goes on for a whole year, then definitely.”

Kent’s comments came as A&K’s new group president and chief executive Michael Wale completed his first week in his new role. Wale joined from Kerzner International.

Kent said Wale would be responsible for whether “we buy [a] company or not”. He said he would also spearhead the expansion of the brand’s Sanctuary Retreats brand.

“He understands an area we wish to expand which is our Sanctuary properties and lodges and ships for expedition cruising. Michael will add a lot to what we’re doing and we’re very excited.”

Abercrombie & Kent’s most recent acquisition was of Cox & Kings, in December 2019.