INTERNATIONAL REPORT—The third quarter ended on a positive note for U.K. hotels as profit per available room increased on a year-over-year basis for the second consecutive month, according to data from HotStats. The 1.6% YOY GOPPAR boost hints toward what hoteliers hope will be the turnaround of an otherwise unremarkable year.
Average room rate took center stage in September, recording a 5% increase compared to the same month last year. As a result, RevPAR achieved a 3.9% YOY gain even in the face of a 0.8-percentage-point decrease in occupancy.
The leisure and corporate segments commanded the growth in RevPAR, with a 2.1% and a 5.1% YOY rate increase, respectively. Combined, they accounted for 50.3% of the total room nights sold in the month.
Other revenue centers did not share these positive results. Ancillary revenues fell by 2.4% YOY, led by a 4.5% YOY decline in conference and banqueting and a 2.6% YOY decrease in F&B. Nonetheless, total revenue per available room managed to increase by 1.8% YOY.
Not even the 2.2% YOY increase in labor costs and the 0.7% YOY uptick in overheads could stunt profit growth in September. Still, the gap between YTD 2019 profit per available room lags 0.1% behind the same period in 2018.
Aided by the 2019 Labour Party’s Annual Conference, held between September 21st and 25th, hotels in Brighton recorded a robust 17.1% YOY increase in profit per available room, placing the city’s YTD 2019 GOPPAR 2% above its 2018 counterpart.
Rooms revenue achieved a 13% YOY gain on a per-available-room basis as a result of YOY increases in both occupancy (up 2.6 percentage points) and average rate (up 9.7%). The positive trend reached ancillary revenues as well, registering a 17.2% lift compared to the same month last year. As a result, TRevPAR climbed 14.4% YOY.
The city also experienced YOY increases in labor costs (up 7.1%) and overheads (up 14.3%) per available room, and profit conversion was recorded at 39.9% of total revenue.
Conversely, Liverpool hotels were faced with a bleaker landscape. Torrential rain and flooding in the area during the month of September had devastating effects over the city’s revenue and profit generation, slashing GOPPAR by 28.9% on a year-over-year basis.
The combination of a 5.9-percentage-point YOY drop in occupancy and an 8.4% YOY decrease in average rate led to a 14.9% YOY drop in RevPAR, marking its greatest plunge in the past two years. Ancillary revenues were also adversely affected and paced 11.4% below September 2018 results. Not surprisingly, TRevPAR registered a 13.9% decline YOY.
Smaller YOY drops in labor costs (down 0.6%) and overheads (down 0.8%), on a per-available-room basis, were not enough to offset the negative impacts over the top-line metrics, and YTD 2019 GOPPAR placed 7.5% below the same period in 2018.