• M&C remains opaque on REIT prospects

Millennium & Copthorne said in its third quarter results statement issued last week that its sale of three hotels in Singapore to a REIT it helped create had demonstrated “our ability to unlock value and create a platform to accelerate future portfolio growth”.

But it was keeping stum on whether it is to take a REIT approach for any of its UK or continental European assets.

The company received £210.6m from the sale of the hotels, although it reinvested £78m to buy a 39.1% interest in the REIT, CDL Hospitality Trusts, which also has a hotel from M&C’s parent company City Developments.

The sale was net earnings enhancing, after allowing for rental costs and reduced notional group interest costs, by £1.3m for the quarter.

The company said that it would appoint a CEO to replace the departing Tony Potter from outside the company. Wong Hong Ren is acting as interim CEO and Michael Sengol has been made COO of Europe as well as Asia.

Sales in the quarter were up 6.6% to £156.1m with pre-tax profits up 38.9% to £23.2m. Group revpar was up 6.5%. For the first 28 days of October revpar was up 11.6%.

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