WEST Lothian-based Macdonald Hotels & Resorts has re-entered the Welsh market after a six-year absence by securing a management agreement with the recently refurbished Dragon Hotel in Swansea.

Macdonald Hotels, which is 50% owned by Lloyds Banking Group, will run the hotel on behalf of its owner, London and Devonshire Trust, while con-tinuing to manage the 45 hotels the company itself owns.

Chris Gillett, managing director of Macdonald Hotels, said: "This management agreement enables us to re-establish our presence in the Welsh market and to add real value to the hotel's business – and in particular its corporate market."

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Until its sale to Accor in 2006, Macdonald Hotels owned Macdonald Holland House Hotel in Cardiff.

Dragon Hotel, which is close to Swansea Central railway station, was recently refurbished at a cost of £3.5 million. Its facilities include an 18-metre swimming pool.

Mr Gillett said: "The Dragon Hotel is a modern, extensively refurbished city centre hotel with appeal to the corporate, conference and leisure markets.

"Macdonald Hotels & Resorts now looks forward to working with the management team of The Dragon Hotel to further enhance its market appeal and profitability in the months ahead."

Macdonald Hotels said the hotel would benefit from the cost synergies and sales and marketing support that it gives to the other hotels within the group.

Staff will also be trained by Macdonald Hotels.

The news comes weeks after Macdonald Hotels posted a pre-tax profit of £1.9m for the year to March 29. It had recorded a £5.3m loss for the preceding period, the 18 months to March 31, 2011.

It said at the time it expects the hotel market to remain tough through 2013.

While corporate budgets remain constrained, hoteliers have faced rising wage, food and utilities costs.

The company has more than £300m of debt and is in talks with Lloyds about renewing the facility which expires in September.

Macdonald Hotels employs more than 4000 people across the business and operates some 4500 hotel rooms.