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GL says Q1 net profit up 58% on higher hotel revenue

GL has posted a profit after tax for the first quarter ended 30 September 2017 of US$17.4 million, up 58 per cent from US$11 million in the previous corresponding period on higher hotel revenue offset by lower earnings from its gaming and oil and gas units.

Formerly known as GuocoLeisure Limited, GL said on Thursday that hotel revenue was higher despite fewer rooms available for sale due to the refurbishment of the Cumberland Hotel in this quarter.

This was mainly attributable to higher F&B, meetings and events revenue as well as overall improvement in room revenue from hotels other than Cumberland Hotel.

But this was offset by lower revenue generated from both gaming segment due to lower win margin, and lower Bass Straits oil and gas royalty income.

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GL is an investment holding company with principal investments in hotel management & operations, gaming, oil & gas, property development and other areas in the leisure industry.

The company is the largest hotel owner operator in London with over 5,000 rooms, operating 17 hotels across 6 brands: Clermont Hotels & Residences, Amba Hotels, every hotels, Guoman Hotels, Thistle and Thistle Express.

In its 12-month outlook, GL said the factors continuing to affect the UK hotel industry are uncertainties over Brexit, and a higher than average projected increase in London room supply over the next year.

The UK hotel market experienced a strong boost in the first half of 2017 on the back of a weak pound, but this market strength is expected to slow going forward. "Our London hotels continue to operate in a challenging environment due to increasing operating costs from the implementation of the National Living Wage and imported inflation. The market is not expected to grow significantly and the group maintains a cautious outlook," the company said.

The company is continuing its refurbishment of The Cumberland Hotel and is on track to launch it as the 900-room Hard Rock Hotel London in the next financial year. The refurbishment programme is done in stages and will affect its total rooms available for sale during this period, it said.