Marylebone Warwick (MWB), operator of the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin hotel brands, has announced plans to return up to £30m to shareholders through a tender offer. The announcement came as the group reported turnover from the group’s three core businesses: Malmaison and Hotel du Vin; MWB Business Exchange; and Liberty, rose to £96.1m, for the six months to 30 June 2006 compared with £81.0m during the same period last year. MWB has seen its share price rise by about 40% since beginning of 2006. Ebitda from the core businesses increased by 28% during the period to £12.4m, against £9.7m last year, and the group posted a pre-tax profit of £1.3m, compared with a loss of £8.9m last year. At Malmaison and Hotel du Vin, the company said results for the period were reflective of “improving market conditions as well as continuing tight financial controls and the impact of centralised management”. Like-for-like revenue was up 15% at £36.6m, while ebitda was up by 20% at £9.7m. The hotels division posted a pre-tax profit of £600,000 for the six months to 30 June 2006, showing a substantial improvement from the loss of £1.0m in the comparative period a year earlier. Average room rate across group rose 3% to £108, while spend per available room was £155, a 5% increase over the last six months. Total occupancy over the six months advanced to 79%, and there was a 12% increase in food and beverage turnover “reflecting both quality of our restaurants and brasseries and improved central cost controls and buying strategies”. During the period the group acquired One Devonshire Gardens, Glasgow in July 2006, for a new Hotel du Vin site, which is expected to open in September. A further five new hotels - two Malmaison and three HdV – are undergoing construction or refurbishment. A further four properties at advanced stages of acquisition or planning consent, and the group is negotiating to acquire two more sites. By mid-2008 the Malmaison group is expected to have 27 operational hotels, without the need for any further fundraising during that period. Robert Cook, chief executive of Malmaison Group, said: “The six months to 31 December 2006 have started well with recent international events encouraging more people to spend more leisure time here in the UK rather than travelling abroad. “Traditionally this period is stronger than the first half of the calendar year and we are currently on course to deliver further revenue growth. With that in mind I continue to view the future with great confidence.” As a result of the strong performance, the company is launching a Tender Offer in the price range of 205p to 215p per share. This gives shareholders the ability to cash in their holdings at a price in excess of the original target price and more than a year earlier than forecast. Eric Sanderson, chairman of MWB, said: “Our operating businesses are growing well. We believe there is merit in retaining these businesses within the Group until 2008, rather than selling them in 2007, as by that time they will have significantly advanced their major expansion plans. “Therefore we will continue the development and close management of these remaining businesses for a further year, through to the end of 2008.” If shareholders consider that further value could be realised by retaining their shares in the company and not participating in the Tender Offer, the realisation from the company for their shareholding will be to the end of 2008. An EGM to approve the Tender Offer will be held on 18 October 2006.