Regal searches for more hotel sites

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The Independent Online
REGAL HOTELS is still looking for three-star hotels to add to its fast-growing portfolio, according to chairman Keith Goldie-Morrison.

He said the group, which doubled its size with the acquisition of four regional hotels in May for pounds 9.5m, was in a strong position to take advantage of the substantial supply of businesses on the market, with net cash of pounds 4m.

Regal, which owns nine hotels with another under management, is searching in the Midlands and North, looking for hotels which traded well through the recession.

The May acquisitions included the Hall Garth Hotel in Darlington, the Cumbrian in Carlisle and two others in Leicestershire and Cheshire.

In the six months to July, underlying trading returned to the black with a small pounds 54,000 operating profit compared to last year's pounds 308,000 loss. Better trading was disguised at the pre-tax level by a pounds 1.24m exceptional surplus last year. Reported profits fell from pounds 944,000 to pounds 5,000.

Regal's latest acquisitions were funded by an pounds 11m open offer, the company's fourth fund-raising exercise in just over 15 months.

The shares, which have lost more than 90 per cent of their value since flotation in 1989, closed unchanged at 1.75p. As last year, there was no interim dividend.