Hotel company Jurys Doyle, which operates the Jurys Inn in Birmingham, has reported a seven per cent rise in annual pretax profit and has given a broadly positive outlook for 2005.
The Irish-based group said pretax profit for the year ended on December 31 was £31.06 million, before including proceeds from hotel disposals.
Taking into account profits from hotel sales, the full-year pretax profit figure was down 0.8 per cent at £31.19 million.
The group said its second half performance was " particularly encouraging", with new hotels opened in Dublin, London Heathrow and Boston.
Jurys Doyle currently owns 17 properties within the UK, six of which are hotels and 11 come under the Jury's Inn brand. "These new openings represent a significant investment by the group and it is important for the 2005 profit outcome that they perform well in 2005," the group said.
Business at Jurys' three London hotels recovered in 2004, with growth of nearly 20 per cent in trading profit, the group said.
The company said its Irish hotels division, which account for nearly half of sales, picked up in the second half of the year.
"The business outlook for 2005 is broadly positive," the group said.
"Overall, we are aiming to deliver further underlying improvements in turnover and profit during the year."
The firm said it would pay a dividend of approximately 17p per share.