The survey, which looked at the results of 624 UK hotels, found that hotels in the provinces had experienced an increase in revenue per available room (RevPAR) of 1.8 per cent and an increase in TRevPAR of 2.7 per cent during February, resulting in gross operating profit per available room (GOPPAR) performance rising by 1.2 per cent, the first rise over a 12 month period since the start of the recession.
David Bailey, deputy managing director at TRI Hospitality Consulting, said growing demand from both the corporate and leisure sectors had helped to push up occupancy, which was having positive effects on the figures, but warned the upturn could be short-lived as hoteliers faced continually rising operating costs.
He said: "Whilst trading performance is likely to be turbulent given recent news including the Government's revised downward forecast for GDP growth this year and continued inflationary cost pressures, the latest market data highlighting an increase in gross operating profit performance over the 12-month period to February 2013 is positive."
London market decline
The news was less positive for London's hotels, however, who saw profit decline for the second month in a row.
Despite an increase in the volume of leisure demand, mainly from international travellers, pushing occupancy levels up 1.4 per cent to 75.9 per cent for February, a drop in the average room rate by 1.8 per cent led to RevPAR remaining flat.
Non-room revenue performance increased on average by 2.6 per cent, but it was not enough to push up profits with GOPPAR declining by 2.7 per cent.
However, although figures did fall for the second month in a row, they were 'encouraging' compared to January's performance, Bailey said.
"Post-Olympic Games it will be difficult to define what a successful 2013 is, given that we have witnessed an unprecedented increase in bedroom supply in the capital over the past two year, and the market will not have the benefit of a one-off event being held in London," he added.
"All eyes will be on the key trading period between May and November when the volume and value of corporate and leisure demand increases significantly to understand how trading performance will fair this year."