Bloomberg News

Claridge’s Owner Sees Profits Rise as London Luxury Booms

October 16, 2012

Coroin Ltd., owner of London luxury hotels including Claridge’s, reported an increase in profit as the U.K.’s billionaire Barclay brothers and Irish developer Patrick McKillen battle over the company’s ownership.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose about 11 percent to 51 million pounds ($82 million) last year, according to an Oct. 1 filing by the closely held company. Revenue increased 8 percent to 138 million pounds.

David and Frederick Barclay, owners of the Daily Telegraph newspaper, and companies they control are being sued by McKillen over the takeover of Coroin’s Maybourne Hotels affiliate. McKillen holds 36 percent of Coroin, which also owns The Berkeley and Connaught hotels in London, and is seeking a judgment giving him the right to buy the remaining shares.

“The hotels are trading exceptionally well and outperforming all targets,” Breda Keena, a spokeswoman for McKillen, said in an e-mail. “It is very clear why they are the target for a hostile takeover.” The Barclays interests in the group declined to comment in an e-mail. Maybourne Hotels spokeswomen Paula Fitzherbert and Christina Norton didn’t return calls or an e-mail seeking comment.

Wealthy Clients

London’s luxury hotels are defying the U.K.’s double-dip recession as wealthy visitors from abroad drive sales. Room occupancy increased to 83 percent from 81 percent the previous year, Coroin said in the document. Revenue per available room, an industry gauge of profitability, rose 6 percent to 447 pounds a night, according to the filing.

The London-based company had loans of 660 million pounds that were due for repayment in September, according to the filing with Companies House. Additional equity may be required from shareholders, auditor KPMG wrote in the filing.

The Barclay brothers won a ruling in June in a dispute with McKillen involving a transfer of 660 million pounds of debt linked to the hotel group. The loan was sold by Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency last year to Maybourne Finance Ltd., a holding company controlled by the Barclays.

The improved performance at Coroin is the result of restoration work and improvements to all three hotels especially the Connaught, Keena said.

The Ritz Hotel in London is owned by Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay Family Settlements, according to an Oct. 3 filing. Operating profit at the luxury hotel fell to 8.5 million pounds last year from 9 million pounds in 2010, the filing by The Ritz Hotel (London) Ltd. to Companies House said.

Amber Aldred, a spokeswoman for the Ritz, wasn’t immediately available for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Neil Callanan in London at ncallanan@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net.


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