The company that owns the Malmaison hotel and Hotel du Vin in Birmingham staged a "dramatic" turnaround in profitability in the six months to December 31.
Marylebone Warwick Balfour Group converted a £6.6 million loss into a pretax profit of £2.7 million, results showed yesterday.
The company, which also has majority stakes in Aimlisted luxury goods retailer Liberty and office space prov ider MWB Business Exchange, said turnover for the half year rose by 11 per cent to £124.2 million.
Chairman Eric Sanderson said the £9.3 million profit turnaround reflected positive trading performances.
"We believe the prospects for each of our three dynamic businesses are very encouraging.
"They are well managed and well funded, and we consider their future to be exciting as they continue to deliver shareholder value," he added.
Birmingham is the only city with a Malmaison and Hotel du Vin, and MWB said late last year both were perform-ing "fantastically".
The first half of the group's financial year saw a new 94-room Malmaison created from the former Oxford gaol with a further two in Liverpool and Reading. Two more Hotel du Vin sites have been acquired at Cambridge and York.
The 16 hotels yielded a combined pretax profit of £2.4 million on sales of £36 million.
MWB has raised £105 million of new equity and debt from Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of Scotland to finance further growth.
"We anticipate by the end of 2007 we will have taken the number of hotels to at least 20 and we will be well on our way to achieving our medium term objective of 25," said hotels chief executive Robert Cook.
Room occupancy stayed steady at 78 per cent at Malmaison and rose to 87 per cent at Hotel du Vin. Average room rates hit £103 and £111.
The division's food and beverage operations performed strongly, advancing by 16 per cent to £15.5 million.
MWB Business Exchange - 68 per cent owned by MWB - reported that pretax profits for the six months to December 31 came in at £2.1 million, compared with a loss of £900,000 last time, on revenue up 25 per cent at £35.9 million.
Meanwhile, Liberty - also 68 per cent owned by MWB - posted first-half pre-tax profit of £158,000 versus a loss of £2.3 milliion on steady store sales of £19.7 million.
The retailer said trading in the second half continued to be strong with improved margins.
Pre-Christmas trading showed a record 5.4 per cent sales increase with the last full week before Christmas seeing a 20.4 per cent sales uplift.