Hotel operator and property developer Millennium & Copthorne Hotels New Zealand has boosted first-half profit by 93 per cent as it lifted the performance of its hotel operations and its property developments turned profitable.

Net profit after minorities rose to $12 million, or 7.59 cents per share, in the six months ended June 30, from $6.2m a year earlier, the Auckland-based company said.

Revenue rose 4.5 per cent to $70m. The previous year’s profit was eroded by a $3.1m loss in then-associated Chinese property development firm First Sponsor Group.

Last week Millennium said it has embarked on a $40m refurbishment of its Copthorne Hotel Auckland Harbourcity. The hotel will be closed until early 2017 while the company replaces building services, adds new guest rooms and public areas.

“It is pleasing to be able to report further improvements on our 2014, and this confirms our current strategies of our short and medium-term capital expenditure programme dovetailing with our operational, sales and marketing initiatives in a fast-changing market environment,” managing director BK Chiu said.

“We are currently working on delivering a similar result to 2014, even with one earnings-significant hotel less.”

Earlier on Thursday, Millennium-controlled CDL Investments, which develops residential property, reported a 3.6 per cent increase in first-half profit to $8.5m, selling 128 sections at subdivisions in Hamilton, Hawke’s Bay and Rolleston.

Millennium’s hotel operations lifted first-half profit 19 per cent to $8.1m on a 10 per cent in crease sales to $44.7m, while its residential land development unit increased profit 2.6 per cent to $11.7m on a 4 per cent decline in revenue to $23.9m.

Its residential and commercial property development segment, which included the First Sponsor business, generated a profit of $600,000 on $1.4m of revenue, compared to a loss of $3.3m on sales of $1.4m a year earlier.

The board didn’t declare an interim dividend. Millennium’s shares were unchanged at $1.40, and have gained 7.7 per cent this year. CDL’s shares were unchanged at 64 cents.


By Paul McBeth