Investment Column: Millennium & Copthorne
Wednesday 11 August 1999
But investors who took up the discounted rights issue to fund the deal must so far be pleased. Against the 465p rights price, shares in the hotel group continued their good run up to 623.5p in June, though they have come off the boil since then. The question now is whether there is any more left in the tank.
The half year figures, which showed pre-tax profits from continuing operations up 10 per cent to pounds 26.8m, were in line with expectations. The regional picture was mixed, however.
The UK performance was worse than some analysts' forecasts, with revenue per available room in the five London hotels down by 2 per cent, and by almost 4 per cent in the provinces. Whilst forward bookings are stronger, there has been a blip in demand. The strategy has been to trade some loss of occupancy for higher room rates that attract bigger-spending, higher- margin guests.
Offsetting the weak domestic scene, there was strong growth overseas, particularly in Europe and New York. It is Asia, however, that holds the key and the investment case for the shares now is a punt on Far Eastern recovery. M&C is looking for more acquisitions in the region, with Bangkok, Tokyo and Seoul the primary hunting ground. Melbourne and Boston are also being scoped out.
M&C is tightly run and Kwek Leng Beng, chairman, is highly regarded. But on analysts' forecasts of pounds 95m pre-tax profits this year, the shares - up 12p to 521.5p - trade on a premium to the sector with a forward p/e of 18. They are expensive.
- 1 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
- 3 Welcome to Cameroon, where drinking Baileys can lead to imprisonment
- 4 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 5 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
Jihadi John': MI5 may have identified Isis militant who killed David Haines but options limited
Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
David Haines beheading: David Cameron says Britain will hunt down Isis 'monsters' shown in video murdering aid worker
Piers Morgan attempts to save the Union by promising to go back to the US if Scotland votes 'No' to independence
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
iJobs Money & Business
£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Training Coordinator / Pl...
Data Governance Manager (Solvency II) – Contract – Up to £450 daily rate, 6 month (may go Permanent)
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently looking...