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Roadmap announcement leading to uptick in UK hotel bookings, says PPHE

Naomi Ackerman
·2-min read
<p>The company is building a £200 million new hotel in Shoreditch (PPHE)</p> (PPHE)

The company is building a £200 million new hotel in Shoreditch (PPHE)

(PPHE)

Hotels group PPHE saw revenues plunge during "a year to quickly forget" in 2020, but the Park Plaza UK owner is already seeing domestic tourism demand bounce back following the Prime Minister's roadmap announcement.

The hotels group has seven venues in the capital and is currently constructing what is to be its largest site, a £200 million art’otel London hoxton in Shoreditch. The firm said on Tuesday that it saw revenues of £101.8 million for the year ended December 31, down from £357.7 million in the prior year.

Revenue per available room, or RevPAR, a key industry metric, fell from £103.60 in 2019 to £29.40 in 2020, as the pandemic led to lockdowns and closures at intervals around the world.

But finance chief Daniel Kos said that bookings have already shown "positive signs of recovery, particularly in London" following Boris Johnson's announcement of a roadmap to reopening last week.

Kos told the Standard: "It's a year to quickly forget.

"We tried everything we could, and kept the cash burn as low as possible.

"Right now business is quite slow, but we are seeing positive signs of recovery, particularly in London after Boris' announcement. Since the announcement we have seen a nice uptick, particularly in the May bank holiday, summer, and weekend domestic bookings. We are seeing booking lead times increase again."

Around 60% of the group's UK summer trade is usually domestic travel. Last year the firm obtained planning permission for the development of a new 465-room hotel in London, on the site adjacent to Park Plaza London Park Royal.

The finance chief said PPHE has invested significantly in contactless check in / check out and other measures, which the firm expects customers will want to see remain in place in the coming years.

He said that longer term the firm's view is that London is "quite resilient" and that "business will pick up and return to 2019 levels, for sure".

Group president and chief executive, Boris Ivesha, said he is confident the firm's "high-quality portfolio and strong pipeline", owner operator approach and operational moves implemented "positions the Company very well to benefit from the anticipated uplift in domestic and international demand as the global vaccine rollout continues and restrictions ease".

Shares rose by 1.5%, or 22p, to 1422p on Tuesday.