Clontarf Castle pays €1.25m dividend to shareholders
Gerry Houlihan, who controls the well-known Clontarf Castle hotel in Dublin, was among the beneficiaries of a €1.25m dividend paid by the company behind the property last year as profits continued to surge on the back on an economic recovery.
That's €500,000 more than owners received as a dividend in 2013. Mr Houlihan also founded the DID Electrical business, and acquired Clontarf Castle over 40 years ago. Together with his family, he controls the hotel.
Among the other shareholders in the hotel, however, is Enda O'Meara, the managing director of hotel operator Tifco.
Newly-filed accounts for the four-star hotel show that it reported a gross profit of just over €9m in the 14 months to the end of last December.
That compares with a €7.2m gross profit in the previous 12-month period.
The latest accounts show that it made a €2.8m operating profit in the latest period, and €2.1m after tax.
"Room revenue has increased from the previous year, and this, combined with tight control over costs, has contributed to the positive financial results in the current year," the directors of the company note.
The accounts also show that the company behind the hotel has continued to cut its debt. Its net debt at the end of October 2013 was €9.6m. But this had fallen to €8.9m by the end of last December.
The company had an €8m bank loan outstanding at the end of 2014, with the facility held with Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank.
The facility was used to purchase the additions to fixed assets which relate to part of the property at Clontarf Castle.
Over €30m has been spent on the hotel since 1998. Last year, the accounts show that an additional €350,000 in capital expenditure was notched up.
The hotel was valued in 2013 at about €16.2m, which was more than the €15.9m carrying value of the property on the books.
"The directors believe it is prudent not to increase the value of the premises, but in order to reflect this valuation excess, there is no provision for depreciation on land and buildings, and fixtures, fittings and equipment in the current year," the accounts note.
Hotels in the capital have been enjoying strong trading since last year, with an influx of visitors and improving corporate business helping to buoy trading. There's currently a shortage of hotel rooms in Dublin. Some estimates reckon that 5,000 extra rooms are required.