Terror threat impacts luxury hotel group

Only modest growth is expected this year at Rocco Forte Hotels due to the threat of terrorism in European cities and the US election combined to slow bookings from America.

While not anticipating much impact from the Brexit vote at the luxury end of the market, Sir Rocco Forte said that the biggest threat remained the possibility of further attacks similar to those in Brussels and Paris.

In the year to the end of April, the Hotel Amigo in Brussels suffered a 40% slump in revenues amid fallout from the attacks, although this was mitigated by a 23% jump in revenues at the group’s two hotels in St Petersburg as they recovered from the Crimea crisis.

Revenues at Rocco Forte Hotels fell by 1% to £172.8 million, although on a like-for-like basis, excluding the impact of the sale of the Lowry in Manchester and exchange rate fluctuations, revenues grew by 7%. Revenue per available room increased by 8%.

Underlying operating profit rose from £26 million to £28 million, with pre-tax profits increasing by £6 million to £8 million.
Sir Rocco said that the group had “continued to see some progress” since the year end, and he forecast “modest growth” for the year as a whole.
The group has 11 hotels in Europe and announced this week that it had secured a second property in Rome, the leasehold Hotel De La Ville, that will reopen in 2018 after a €40 million restoration.

It will also shortly open a hotel in Jeddah under a management contract and a hotel in Shanghai in 2018.
Sir Rocco told The Times that he was “looking at a lot of stuff in Italy”, including in Milan and Venice.

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