Sri Lanka Continental Hotel Dec net up 22-pct

Feb 01, 2012 (LBO) – A boom in tourist arrivals after the end of a war has helped Sri Lanka’s Continental Hotel to increase net profit by 22 percent in the December 2011 quarter, the start of the peak tourism season. The hotel, bought by the Hayleys conglomerate last year, said net profit in the December 2011 quarter was 13.2 million rupees.

Sales of the hotel, which has been closed for refurbishment, rose 10 percent to 182 million rupees, Hotel Services, the owners of the property, said in a stock exchange filing.

Earnings per share of the hotel, Sri Lanka’s first five-star rated hotel in the capital Colombo, rose to eight cents from six cents.

Colombo hotels are enjoying high occupancy and room rates following the end of the 30-year war in 2009.

Hayleys group bought a 51 percent stake in Continental Hotel in March 2010 and is investing to expand and refurbish the property to cater to an expected influx of tourists.

The 229-room Ceylon Continental Hotel will be closed from February 01, 2012 for refurbishment costing 1.8 billion rupees. It will reopen in October 2012.