The international hotel group Millennium & Copthorne yesterday said it had got off to a slow start this year with revenues per room down in all three main cities – Singapore down 10.2 per cent, London down 9.6 per cent and New York down 1.6 per cent.
Its chairman Kwek Leng Beng said: "Uncertain global economic conditions continue to cast shadows over the hospitality sector." In 2012 M&C's profits fell 15 per cent to £158m but this largely reflected the fact that the previous year's profits were boosted by a one-off sale of land in Kuala Lumpur. On a like-for-like basis profits were up 6.6 per cent.
Mr Kwek said the group would concentrate on improving returns this year by upgrading many of its 100 hotels. He added: "Our strong financial position enables us to make the necessary investment to ensure we enhance our sound competitive position. We continue to monitor acquisition opportunities, although prices continue to remain unjustifiably high."
M&C expects to open two new hotels in China this year.