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Melia Hotels profit soars on tourism recovery, higher room rates

MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish hotel chain Melia on Thursday posted a 132% rise in nine-month net profit to 53 million euros ($51.7 million) as revenues more than doubled thanks to rebounding tourism after the end of COVID-19 restrictions and higher room prices.

It said that the pace of bookings pointed to a strong outlook for the coming months and it had not yet detected any impact from fears of an economic downturn.

Revenues hit 1.27 billion euros in January-September, and the Mallorca-based company said that in the third quarter alone they exceeded pre-pandemic levels by 3% for the first time.

Its average room rates increased by 29% from 2019 to 145.5 euros between July and September.

"Our summer has been better than in 2019...in general terms we have had slightly lower occupancy and much better prices," said Chief Operating Officer Andre Gerondeau.

Spain received 56 million tourists in January-September, still about 16% fewer than in the same period of 2019, official data showed Thursday.

Melia expects positive results for the year-end season in destinations such as the Canary Islands and Cape Verde, as well as in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, where it sees an upturn in corporate events.

($1 = 1.0261 euros)

(Reporting by Corina Pons, editing by Andrei Khalip)