Orient-Express Hotels, the Bermuda-based luxury travel firm that owns and operates the newly-reopened El Encanto hotel in Santa Barbara, reported an $8.3 million loss on revenue of $103.2 million for the first quarter.
That’s a slight improvement over a $14.4 million loss during the same time period last year, and officials said in the May 2 earnings report that the company is starting the year on a strong note. Executives said the highlight of the first quarter was the March opening of El Encanto in Santa Barbara’s Riviera neighborhood, a move “that has firmly established our brand presence in the important U.S. West Coast travel market.” Orient-Express said the “wonderfully restored hotel will significantly enhance the revenue-generating power of our portfolio and will fully contribute to earnings in future periods.”
Orient-Express told the Business Times in April that the firm spent a total of $134 million to purchase and refurbish El Encanto, which it bought for $26 million in 2004.
The hotel firm owns 34 high-end hotels throughout the world, in addition to safari experiences and the luxury trains the company is named for.
In North America, Orient-Express’ earnings for the quarter ended March 31 was $6.1 million before impairment charges, down $1.1 million from a year earlier. The company said its North American profits were impacted by $2 illion of charges for pre-opening expenses at El Encanto.
Orient-Express said it invested a total of $20.7 million into its portfolio during the first quarter, including $10.8 million to renovate its new Santa Barbara property. It has said that the resort, its first foray into the West Coast, is more about establishing a presence than it is about boosting short-term profits.
First-quarter earnings missed analyst estimates by 13 cents, according to numbers compiled by Reuters.