Hotel group Millennium and Copthorne has warned of concerns over recruiting EU workers to its London properties, as Brexit uncertainty continues.
The firm said that EU workers currently comprise more than half of its London workforce, and said that it has started to face recruitment difficulties.
“The hospitality industry faced a range of geo-political and global economic headwinds in 2018, many of which look set to continue in the current year, including US/China trade relations, Brexit and increasing minimum wage levels in many jurisdictions,” warned Mr Kwek Leng Beng, chairman of Millennium and Copthorne Hotels PLC.
The group is scheduled to reopen its refurbished flagship Mayfair property (pictured) in the second quarter of this year, when it will be rebranded as The Biltmore, operating under Hilton’s resurrected LXR brand.
The hotel closed in July 2018 to allow for renovations works to be completed, a move which the group said resulted in an estimated £20m reduction in revenue and £12m reduction in operating profit during the financial year to December 31, 2018.
Mr Kwek Leng Beng said that the reopening would mark the group’s debut in the London five-star deluxe market, adding that it would look “to fast track our lost earnings growth at this hotel after it re-opens”.
The group’s Orchard Hotel in Singapore is also undergoing a £11m upgrade, expected to be finished in the second quarter of 2019.
Nearly a fifth (18 per cent) of the firm’s hotel revenues came from its New York properties in 2018, but the region remained loss-making “due to its inflexible operating cost structure arising mainly from the employment of trade union staff”.