Hotel operator Firmdale books rising revenues

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The Independent Online

Firmdale Holdings, the boutique hotel operator which counts celebrities such as Halle Berry and Meg Ryan amongst its guests, has checked in record revenue of £69.4m for last year.

Accounts due to be filed later this month will show that Firmdale's turnover increased by 28.5 per cent in the year to the end of January, leaving it with a net gain of £20.8m up from an £8.2m loss the previous year.

The group runs one of the UK's largest independent boutique hotel chains by revenue.

Six of its seven hotels are in London, including its flagships: the Knightsbridge Hotel, the Covent Garden Hotel and Charlotte Street Hotel. Finance director Malcolm Soden said trading performance had improved at all of Firmdale's London properties over the past year.

"Across the London division our average room rate increased 6 per cent to £300 as each of the six properties produced a new individual record and average occupancy increased 3.1 per cent to 89 per cent."

Firmdale's room rate is more than double the average for all hotels in London, which was £123.32 in 2010 according to TRI Hospitality Consulting. Its occupancy also outstripped the London average of 82.1 per cent which was a 2 per cent increase on the previous year. TRI's deputy director Mark Dickens says, "the London hotel market has continued to exceed expectations in recent years with the recession having a lesser effect on hotel market conditions than expected."

Over the past five years Firmdale's average room rate has risen by 33 per cent. In October 2009, Firmdale made its first international foray with the Crosby Street Hotel, situated in New York's fashionable SoHo district.

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