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Dorchester Group reports loss amid boycott and Brexit uncertainty

The group swung to a £10.3m pre-tax loss in 2019 amid Brexit uncertainty and backlash against the Brunei owners anti-LGBT laws

The Dorchester Group has reported a £10.3m pre-tax loss in 2019, following a period of uncertainty over Brexit and public backlash against the group’s owners.

Furthermore, Dorchester reported a revenue drop from £411.2m in 2018 to £373.1m the following year.

Occupancy rate for 2019 was 60%, a fall from 76% the previous year, while the average room rate rose from £633 to £672.

Owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, the wealth fund of the country’s Sultan, the group’s portfolio includes the Dorchester Hotel in London, Coworth Park in Ascot and properties in Los Angeles, Rome and Milan.

Despite backtracking on introducing the leglislation, Brunei was planning to introduce laws making adultery and gay relations punishable by death in 2019. This was met by protests outside the group’s hotels and eventual boycotts of its properties.

The group cited the “acute political and economic uncertainty in the UK and continental Europe” arising from Brexit as another factor affecting the business.

In its financial results, filed with Companies House, the group said it remained confident the business will continue owning, leasing and managing hotels for the foreseeable future, however.

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