Peel checks in with profit rise

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BRAM Stoker, the creator of Dracula, is one of the memorable names on the guest list at Bradford’s Midland Hotel, along with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Laurel and Hardy.

The 127-year-old hotel’s parent company, Peel Hotels, yesterday revealed that its half year profits had risen, although it had failed to derive any benefit from the influx of tourists linked to the London Olympics.

In the 28 weeks ended August 19, Peel’s turnover rose 4.7 per cent to £8.21m, while the pre-tax profit was £45,049, compared with £32,998 in the same period last year.

Chairman Robert Peel said the company had made progress in achieving sustainable sales growth. Peel spent £172,331 over the half year across its portfolio.

Some of the cash was spent upgrading the garden at the Norfolk Royale Hotel in Bournemouth and improving the bedrooms at the Midland Hotel.

The Midland hotel was built between 1885 and 1890 by the Midland Railway Company as a showcase for its northern opera- tions.

In 1905, the famous actor, Sir Henry Irving, died on the main staircase after his appearance at the nearby Theatre Royal. Almost every Prime Minister up to Harold Wilson stayed in the hotel.

Peel owns eight other UK hotels, including the Cosmopolitan in Leeds.

In a statement to accompany the accounts, Peel said it was optimistic that the provincial hotel sector had reached the “bottom of the cycle”.