Friday 20 September 2019

Dalata says no Brexit impact yet in solid 2018

Dalata owns or leases 39 hotels in Ireland and the UK
Dalata owns or leases 39 hotels in Ireland and the UK
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ireland's largest hotel group, Dalata, has seen no negative impact from the looming spectre of Brexit in either Ireland or the UK, according to its deputy chief executive, Dermot Crowley.

In a trading update, the group added that the Dublin market - the single biggest part of Dalata's business - had remained "very strong" in the second half of 2018.

It noted that on a like-for-like basis, revenue per available room at its hotels in the capital jumped 8.8pc in the 11 months to the end of November, compared to market growth of 7.4pc. The like-for-like figure excludes hotels opened in 2018, extensions added to existing properties, and the Tara Towers hotel, which closed in September.

The Tara Towers site is set for €51m re-development that will include a 140-bedroom, four star Maldron hotel, as well as 69 residential units. Dalata acquired the 1.4-acre site and hotel in 2016 for €13.1m.

Last month, Dalata opened the 189-bedroom Clayton Hotel Charlemont in Dublin - a €40m investment.

Dublin accounted for 58pc of Dalata's €348.5m revenue, and 61pc of its €102.6m in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) last year.

The company said that its regional hotels in Ireland also performed well in the 11 months to the end of November, and that its UK properties had performed "very well".

Maldron Hotel Newcastle opened earlier this month, and an extension at Maldron Hotel Parnell Square in Dublin has been substantially completed, said Dalata. Maldron Hotel South Mall in Cork will open later this week, it added.

The hotel group has also been active in the UK, where it has ambitions be a major player in the UK's three- and four-star hotel sector.

Aiming to build a presence in major cities, Dalata is targeting a 10pc to 15pc share of the three- and four-star market in each of those cities.

In August, the company said it had agreed to pay €100m for a 212-bedroom hotel being built at Aldgate in east London. The property is being built by a private equity group.

Last month, Dalata agreed a new €525m debt facility to support continued growth and reduce financing costs.

"We note the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the final outcome of Brexit," said Mr Crowley. "To date, we have seen no negative impact on trading in any of our hotels in the UK or Ireland."

He added: "We did deem it prudent to complete our refinancing package earlier than originally planned and are now happy to have debt funding in place until at least late 2023, on improved terms."

The company's update added that trading in the final four months of the year had been as expected and that EBITDA for 2018 will also be in line with expectations.

Irish Independent

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