Hotel operator and landlord Great Eagle saw its core earnings drop 6.8 per cent to HK$1.67 billion last year because of lower income contributions from Hong Kong hotels it spun off in May. Excluding a HK$1.11 billion revaluation gain on investment properties, the company said underlying profit was HK$1.67 billion in the year to December, compared with HK$1.8 billion in the previous year. Great Eagle said core earnings were affected by lower attributed income from the spin-off of Hong Kong hotels, pre-opening and rebranding expenses for its hotels in North America, an increase in administrative expenses related to the spin-offs, and professional fees incurred for feasibility studies on various projects. The company declared a special final dividend of 5 HK cents a share on top of a final payout of 43 HK cents related to the spin-off of Langham Hospitality Investment. Langham Hospitality, in which Great Eagle holds 57.72 per cent, owns three hotels: Langham, Langham Place Hotel and Eaton. The average room rate for the three hotels was HK$1,208 to HK$2,266 a night last year, up 0.8 per cent to 1.2 per cent from the previous year. "We expect distribution and hotel management incomes from [Langham Hospitality] to increase so as to reflect a full year of contribution after its listing in May," Great Eagle chairman Lo Ka-shui said. Income from hotels dropped 15 per cent to HK$672.9 million after the three hotels were spun off. The three hotels all saw an increase in revenue per available room in the first six weeks of this year, Great Eagle said. On the outlook for hotels outside Hong Kong, it said the United States would benefit from further recovery in the US economy, where growth in hotel supply would be limited for at least the next two years. The company has four hotels in the US, as well as properties in London, Toronto, Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland and Shanghai. Net rental income rose 11.1 per cent to HK$209.6 million, compared with HK$196.4 million in the previous year. Turnover fell 4.6 per cent to HK$5.41 billion from HK$5.67 billion. Great Eagle shares rose 0.19 per cent to close at HK$25.40.