>Millennium & Copthorne Profit Up, But Too Early To Call 2010

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>LONDON (Dow Jones)–Millennium & Copthorne Hotels PLC (MLC.LN) Wednesday posted an increase in sales and profit for the first quarter and reported encouraging signs of recovery, but said it was still too early to predict the outcome for the year.

The U.K.-based hotels group said net profit in the first quarter rose 64% to GBP14.1 million from GBP8.6 million a year ago, while revenue increased 2.2% to GBP160.5 million, from GBP157.1 million.

“We continue to see encouraging signs of recovery in some of our markets although conditions for others, notably Rest of Europe and Regional U.S., remain challenging,” said Chairman Kwek Leng Beng. “It’s too early to predict trading performance for 2010.”

Revenue per available room, or RevPAR, a key industry measurement, grew 3.2% on the year in constant currency terms. The pound’s weakness means revenue from outside the U.K. is buoyed when translated into sterling.

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