Decision soon on Orient-Express Hotels bid

Hotel chain operator Indian Hotels Co Ltd (IHCL) posted a net profit of Rs 65 crore on a standalone basis for the quarter ended December 30, 2012.

The company said that it is reviewing its options after Orient-Express Hotels rejected its takeover bid.

“The company will decide whether to proceed with a bid for Orient-Express Hotels in the current fiscal year. The company cannot leave the offer open for an indefinite period,” Anil Goel, Executive Director Finance, said at a press conference on Monday.

Tata Group-owned IHCL had made a takeover bid of $1.8 billion for the US-listed, luxury hotels group Orient-Express in October.

IHCL posted a net profit of Rs 50.5 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

Total income of the company, which owns and operates the chain of Taj hotels and resorts, was Rs 544.5 crore for the October-December quarter against Rs 521.4 crore for the corresponding quarter of the preceding year.

Announcing the results, Raymond Bickson, Managing Director, said the sector continues to face pressure on demand due to the current economic environment.

While room sales have grown in aggregate across all key markets, rates have continued to “plateau’’ like in the previous quarters.

The company’s standalone debt was Rs 2,400 crore, while consolidated debt was Rs 3,700 crore.

Bickson said the company expects to open a Vivanta by Taj in Gurgaon by March. The company has lined up 13 hotels in the next fiscal.

On a consolidated basis, the company reported a loss of Rs 41.08 crore for the October-December quarter this year against a loss of Rs 21.33 crore in the same period a year ago.

The share price of IHCL was down 0.73 per cent at Rs 61.50 on the BSE on Monday.

nivedita.ganguly@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on February 11, 2013)
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