July 26, 2018 / 11:31 AM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Mayfair refurbishment to dent profit at Millennium & Copthorne Hotels

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July 26 (Reuters) - Britain’s Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C) warned its annual profit will be lower than expected as its London Mayfair hotel will remain closed until early next year while it is refurbished.

The impact of the project on revenue is estimated to be about 20 million pounds ($26.4 million) and will also lower its operating profit, M&C said.

The Millennium Hotel London Mayfair will remain closed entirely during the remainder of its refurbishment programme so as to accelerate the work, M&C said. The refurbishment started in November as a phased process and the hotel was closed entirely at the beginning of this month.

The hotel, which had 336 rooms prior to the refurbishment, is scheduled to reopen in the first quarter of 2019 with 315 rooms.

M&C said performance at its other London hotels for the second quarter was also weaker than last year due to lower revenue and continuing cost pressures.

Traditional hotel operators are having to respond to competition from holiday home rental start-ups such as Airbnb.

M&C was the target of an unsuccessful 2-billion-pound buyout offer by its chairman and Singaporean billionaire, Kwek Leng Beng, which was blocked by minority shareholders in January.

M&C in April named Jennifer Fox as its new chief executive, tapping an industry veteran to replace Aloysius Lee who resigned last January. ($1 = 0.7588 pounds) (Reporting by Arathy S Nair in Bengaluru editing by Jason Neely/Keith Weir)

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