Clontarf Castle back in the black as it posts €647k
The upmarket Clontarf Castle hotel in Dublin, which is owned by investors including DID Electrical founder Gerry Houlihan, staged a reversal of fortunes last year as it posted a pre-tax profit of €647,000, compared to a €500,000 loss in the previous year.
Accounts just filed for the business at the Companies Office reveal that gross profit at Clontarf Castle actually declined 15pc in the 12 months to the end of last October to €7.9m from €9.3m, as revenue fell from €12m to €10m.
However, its administrative expenses also declined by 29pc, to €6.7m from €9.4m, in the previous period.
That left the company with an operating profit of €1.2m for the year, compared to an operating loss of €63,000 a year earlier, placing it in an enviable position among its peers that are struggling amid the downturn where bank-controlled properties have been slashing prices to attract consumers.
Enda O'Meara, the managing director of the Tifco Hotels group, of which Clontarf Castle is a part, told the Irish Independent that the reduction in operating costs was the result of pay cuts, some redundancies, but primarily driving greater efficiencies.
He added that current year results for the hotel were likely to be in line with last year, but that the market remained extremely challenging, with average room rates down 30pc on their 2007 peak.
Tifco owns three Crowne Plaza hotels in Ireland as well as Clontarf Castle, and manages hotels including the high-profile Parknasilla resort and spa in Kerry and the Burlington in Dublin.
The Burlington was bought by a company controlled by failed property developer Bernard McNamara for €288m in 2007.
The accounts for Clontarf Castle also show that the company paid €562,000 in interest in borrowings last year, up from €436,400 in the prior financial year.
The company had net debt of €13.3m at the end of last October, up from €12.8m in October 2008. Total bank loans at the end of the latest period amounted to €14m.