Travelodge sale imminent as profits surge 63%
UK budget hotel chain Travelodge has reported a surge in profits of more than 60%, three years after its near-collapse.
It comes as Travelodge's owners are thought to be preparing to sell it for a potential £1bn.
Travelodge said underlying profits for the year to 31 December 2014 were up 63.5% to £66.2m.
Revenue last year rose 14.9% to £497.2m, while the key measure of revenue per room rose 16.8% to £34.24.
Goldman Sachs, Avenue Capital and GoldenTree Asset Management took control of Travelodge in 2012 when it faced collapse with debts of £500m.
The owners are now understood to be looking to appoint advisers to examine strategic options, including a possible stock market flotation, according to newspaper reports.
Earlier on Monday, Travelodge chief executive Peter Gowers told BBC Radio 5 Live's Wake Up To Money: "There's probably never been a better time to run a value hotel business than now because the value hotel sector is huge. Britain is becoming a nation of value shoppers."
He added Travelodge's current owners were "not natural long-term holders of the business".
"I think you'd expect them always to be thinking about ways to realise value from their shareholdings, but for now we stay focused on running the business we have got," he said.
Travelodge said a £100m modernisation programme was now nearing completion, while five of 15 hotels new properties expected for 2015 were already open.
The chain has opened more than 500 hotels since launching in 1985 and has identified 250 more sites across the UK.
Mr Gowers said the first 150 were expected to be ready over the next eight years.