Scottish Highland Hotels profits fling

Scottish Highland Hotels met the forecasts it made at the time of last November's flotation, reporting pre-tax profits for the year to October of pounds 2.13m, a 50 per cent increase on the previous year. The company's shares, which were placed at 125p, closed 2.5p higher yesterday at 152.5p.

Hamish Grossart, chairman, said: "Following the successful listing of the company's shares, we are delighted to be announcing such a strong set of results. The current year has started well."

Scottish Highland's bumper profits followed a rise in the Glasgow-based company's occupancy rate from 73.4 to 75.5 per cent during the year and a jump in the room rate charged from pounds 47.78 to pounds 49.83.

Pro forma earnings per share rose 24 per cent to 10.3p and a dividend of 0.5p was announced, although the company said it would have paid 3p had the shares been listed for a full year.

The successful flotation of Scottish Highland followed hot on the heels of the withdrawal of the planned flotation of Principal Hotels after a glut of hotel floats in 1996.