On 14 November, International Hotel Investments plc (IHI) issued its Interim Director’s Statement announcing that since the date of the publication of its June 2008 interim results in August 2008, the international hospitality industry has experienced a downturn due to the international financial crisis. Although not all IHI-owned hotels will be affected to the same degree, the Company expects the overall second half results to be adversely affected by lower average room rates and occupancy levels.
In order to counter this situation, IHI’s hotel management company, CHI Limited, has been taking the appropriate measures to limit the impact on the hotels’ profitability. IHI’s Directors stated that the Company enjoys a healthy liquidity cover and a conservative debt to equity ratio. As a result of these strengths and the current economic scenario, IHI is actively pursuing a number of opportunities that are currently available on the international market.
Moreover, the Company stated that despite the downturn it continued with its plans for new hotel development and the refurbishment of operating properties, mainly related to the development of the two adjoining sites in St. Petersburg. Meanwhile the planning process for the redevelopment of the recently acquired Metropole Building and 10 Whitehall Place in London (a joint venture between IHI, LFICO of Libya and Nakheel Hotels of Dubai) is on schedule following the submission of a full planning application to the relevant planning authority on 1 August.
IHI also made reference to the joint-venture with Intourist of the Russian Federation. The company stated the company structure is being put in place so as to begin its investment programme during the course of 2009 as the right opportunities arise.