QHotels upbeat ahead of restructureBy Laurence Kilgannon, Assistant Digital News Editor
A leisure group behind 21 luxury hotels, including seven across the Midlands, has said evidence of a sustainable recovery in the UK's provincial hotel market has left it optimistic for the future following a challenging period.
In the latest accounts for QHotels, named as AA Hotel Group of the Year for 2014/15, the business said it was in discussions with the owner of its £363m debts about a restructure to place it on a stable footing to capitalise on the improving market.
QHotels Holdings Ltd manages and operates a collection of four-star hotels which offer accommodation, conference and banqueting services and leisure facilities, including The Nottingham Belfry, Telford Hotel & Golf Resort, Chesford Grange in Warwickshire, Hellidon Lakes Golf & Spa Hotel in Northamptonshire, Stratford Manor and The Stratford in Stratford-upon-Avon, and Forest Pines Hotel & Golf Resort in North Lincolnshire.
In accounts for the year to 29 December 2013, the group reported a pre-tax loss of £14.6m on sales which rose from £121.6m to £123.7m.
QHotels said its performance during 2013 could be viewed as a contraction in the first-half followed by a much stronger second six months which continued into 2014.
As well as the possibility of improvements within the hotel market, QHotels said its greater focus on the events sector when compared to its rivals gave it an edge for driving total revenue per available room because of the income from food, beverage and room hire that stems from hosting conferences.
In March, US private equity firm Bain Capital, through Sankaty Advisors, acquired the group's £363m of bank loans from the special liquidator of Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.
At the date of the report, a deterioration in the value of QHotels' property portfolio after the recession had led to the value of the hotels being below the principal amount outstanding on the bank loans which are due for repayment in November 2015.
QHotels' directors have held discussions with Sankaty representatives about a "mutually satisfactory" restructure of its debts.
Last month (September 2014), QHotels won the AA Hotel Group of the Year award for the second time in its history.