Scottish hotel group Macdonald Hotels remains in talks with Lloyds Bank about refinancing a £314 million debt facility which expires next September.
Scotland’s largest hotel chain moved into the black with a pre-tax profit of £1.9 million for the year to March against a loss of £5.3 million for the 18 months to March 2011.
The company, a 50-50 joint venture between Lloyds and the management, stressed that there was no indication of the bank wishing to sell its stake.
Finance director Gordon Fraser told The Herald newspaper in Scotland: “We could reach an agreement with them [Lloyds] tomorrow. But the important thing for our business is to strike the best deal we can.”
The group, which generated enough cash to invest £8 million in its 45 hotels last year on top of debt repayments, is keen to secure more money to upgrade its facilities.
Asked if Lloyds might be tempted to sell out now that Macdonald Hotels is in profit, chief executive David Guile said: “No, Lloyds have indicated to us that they are fully committed to the business.”
He described the market as still being “very challenging.”
Guile said: “The marketplace is still very tough and we do not expect to see that changing through 2013 and beyond.”
On balance, the Olympic Games had been negative for the business, as it deterred usual leisure travellers, he said.
Hotels in Windsor, near the rowing event and Manchester, where it hosted a Paralympic group, both benefited. City centre hotels in England are posting the best performance, notably those in Manchester, Oxford and Chester. Business was slower in parts of northern England and Scotland although Edinburgh in is holding up fine, he reportedly said.
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