Skift Take

The abrupt departure of a CEO and falling profit set off plenty of alarm bells. Will Millennium & Copthorne be able to turn things around, or do its struggles represent the start of a wider industry slowdown?

Millennium & Copthorne Hotels has warned of challenging conditions in the hospitality sector as it reported a fall in third quarter profits on Friday.

The company, which has a portfolio of 137 properties spread across the world, saw pre-tax profit fall 38 percent to $44 million (£34 million) in the three months to the end of September.

Revenue fell 4 percent to $329 million (£253 million,) while RevPAR, a popular hotel industry metric measuring revenues per available room, dropped 3 percent to $113.33 (£87.23.)

In September, CEO Jennifer Fox stepped down after only three months in the job and since then two non-executive directors have also quit. Millennium & Copthorne named Tan Kian Seng as her temporary successor.

Chairman Kwek Leng Beng, who is also the company’s majority shareholder, blamed falling profits on continuing cost pressures.

“The hospitality sector is facing challenging trading conditions, including significant supply growth, technological ‘disruption,’ industry consolidation and rising minimum wage requirements and labor costs in key jurisdictions,” he said.

“These challenges, which are impacting the availability of talent and reducing margins, are exacerbated by geopolitical headwinds, such as the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and global trade tensions.”

In January, Kwek’s firm City Developments Limited failed in its attempt to take full control of Millennium & Copthorne Hotels after smaller shareholders rebelled against the offer.

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Tags: earnings, millennium and copthorne

Photo credit: The Hard Days Night Hotel in Liverpool claims to be the world's only Beatles inspired hotel. Parent company Millennium and Copthorne Hotels reported a fall in third quarter profits. Millennium and Copthorne Hotels

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