MWB Group, the company behind Hotel Du Vin and Malmaison, has confirmed it expects fourth quarter underlying profit to show improvement on the same period last year. The company, which is led by chief executive Richard Balfour-Lynn, said in an interim management statement that current trading in its third quarter was in line with budget – but that it expected performance in its second half to be better. Revenue-per-available room was £87; ahead of what it was at this stage last year and it occupancy stood at 82%. MWB said advanced room bookings for November and for the important Christmas period were in line with last year but better in terms of rate, whilst food and beverage is substantially up at this stage compared to 2009. The company also operates Pub Du Vin in Brighton and Birmingham and has mooted developing a Bistro Du Vin, a separate restaurant concept. Eric Sanderson, group chairman, said: "Our businesses continue to perform well in difficult market conditions. Our operations offer the quality of product, value for money and customer service that will ensure that we continue to consolidate our position during challenging times and are also able to take full advantage of market opportunities as they arise." The company also added it was looking at hotel sites abroad, following a period of no openings.