Millennium staying shut

MICHAEL FOREMAN AND ALAN WOOD
Last updated 05:00 15/02/2014

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Listed hotels company Millennium & Copthorne Hotels New Zealand says its Millennium Hotel Christchurch in Cathedral Square remains closed for the "foreseeable future".

Millennium & Copthorne yesterday reported a profit of $32.2 million for the year ended December 31, down from $50.7m in the previous year. Revenue grew to $123.4m from $116.5m in 2012.

Millennium managing director B K Chiu said the fall in profit reflected the difference between one-off items recorded in 2012 mainly due to the Canterbury earthquake.

In 2012, gains from one-off items totalled $19m, including an $18.4m gain from settlement of material damage insurance claims relating to Copthorne Hotel Christchurch Central.

Millennium Hotel Christchurch, a leased property, remained closed for the foreseeable future. Discussions between the Japanese landlord and the insurers have continued without resolution of the way forward on repairs to the building.

"The rent is currently abated. Once an agreed plan for repairs has been formulated between the landlord and the insurers, we will be able to update shareholders and our stakeholders accordingly," the company said.

The demolition of Copthorne Hotel Christchurch Central on Victoria Square was virtually complete and the site had been almost cleared of all debris, the company said in its result.

"All claims relating to material damage and business interruption have now been settled with the company's insurers."

"As at time of writing, the acquisition designation remains on the property pending final determination of Christchurch Central Development Unit's/Christchurch City Council's plan for the town hall and arts precinct.

"Millennium & Copthorne is optimistic that the designation will be removed in the near future which will allow [the company] to commence assessment of future planning for the site."

Chiu said the company was pleased to see progress in increasing revenue for operating hotels and their revenue-per-available-room performance.

"We also benefited from strong contributions from CDL Investments, reflecting increased sales and confidence in the local property market and we also booked profits from our investment in China through First Sponsor Capital," he said.

Millennium received $13.4m from its 67 per cent-owned subsidiary CDL Investments, while First Sponsor contributed $9.8m from sale of land and residential developments.

A fully imputed dividend of 1.2 cents per share will be paid to shareholders on May 16 with a record date of May 9.

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