Monday 24 October 2016

Donald Trump's Doonbeg golf course hits the rough with €2.5m loss

Published 14/10/2015 | 14:40

Donald Trump (inset) paid €8.7m for Doonbeg
Donald Trump (inset) paid €8.7m for Doonbeg
Donald Trump with his sons Don Jnr and Eric and daughter Ivanka at Shannon Airport
Doonbeg golf course
Donald Trump's Doonbeg Golf Course
Trump with children, Ivanka, Don and Eric
Donald Trump
Doonbeg golf course and, inset, Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka
A golfer on the Doonbeg Golf Links course and hotel in Co Clare yesterday

US billionaire Donald Trump’s golf course in Doonbeg hits the rough in the first year under his ownership, racking up a €2.5m loss.

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Accounts just filed for the company behind the famed golf course and resort in Co Clare – TIGL Ireland Enterprises – reveal that the loss was made between February and December last year.

It blamed the poor scorecard on the write-off of various start-up costs incurred as part of the acquisition of the business.

“The company has commenced a redesign of the golf course, which will be completed in 2016,” the accounts note. “As a result, the course will not be fully operational until 2016 and the directors forecast further losses in 2015.”

The Irish Independent revealed last year that Mr Trump paid just under €9m for the troubled Doonbeg resort.

It had been speculated that Mr Trump had paid around €15m for the property, which had been developed at an initial cost of €28m when it opened in 2002.

In documents Mr Trump filed this year in the United States in connection with his Presidential campaign, he placed a €23m valuation on the Doonbeg property. He also said the resort is generating annual revenue of about $10m (€11.4m).

The sale to the businessman didn't include a number of luxury suites that had been sold to investors during the boom and leased back to the hotel. They bought those suites as investments, expecting to generate annual rental income and capital appreciation. Some 47 suites had been sold to investors at prices ranging between €1.2m and €1.8m.

The sale to Mr Trump included the five-star hotel lodge, seven unsold suites and the Greg Norman-designed golf course. Mr Trump has pledged to invest up to €45m in Doonbeg and create hundreds of jobs. He said he would transform Doonbeg into a "truly iconic" golf destination.

The property has been rebranded as the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland.

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