Business Irish

Monday 11 December 2017

Dromoland Castle bounces back to record €51,000 pre-tax profit

Mark Nolan is managing director of Dromoland Castle, Newmarket On Fergus, Clare.
Mark Nolan is managing director of Dromoland Castle, Newmarket On Fergus, Clare.

Gordon Deegan

One of the country's best-known five-star hotels, Dromoland Castle, recorded a pre-tax profit last year.

New returns show that Dromoland Castle (Holdings) Ltd recorded the €51,839 pre-tax profit after sustaining a pre-tax loss of €53,569 in 2010.

The Co Clare hotel returned to pre-tax profit after revenues increased by 3pc from €10.9m to €11.3m in the 12 months to the end of last December.

Two former US presidents, George Bush and Bill Clinton have stayed at the hotel, while Nelson Mandela has also enjoyed the castle's surroundings.

Yesterday, Dromoland managing director Mark Nolan said: "We're very happy to be producing a profit."

The firm's operating profit almost trebled last year from €64,721 to €191,367 with net interest payments of €134,979 reducing the hotel's profits.

North America

Mr Nolan said that the return of the North American market last year "is even stronger this year with the average room rate back up".

Mr Nolan said that the hotel "has turned things around" after the 2010 pre-tax loss "and that is down to the great team that we have here who are very focused and who are drilling into niche markets".

The long-serving managing director said: "We expect revenues to be up around 10pc this year and we're very positive about making a profit. We're very upbeat about this year."

Mr Nolan -- who is also a shareholder in the company -- said that the North American market accounts for more than 50pc of the hotel's business "and Shannon Airport and its future is very important to us. It is key".

The figures show that at the end of last December, the hotel had €11m in accumulated profits and €21.7m in shareholder funds.

The hotel last month purchased the adjoining Clare Inn hotel for €2.1m. Mr Nolan said: "We are seeing the benefits of purchasing the Clare Inn already.

"The hotel is doing well. We are getting our feet under the table. It is a great property."

Mr Nolan said that between the two hotels, 330 staff are employed, with 170 employed in Dromoland and 160 at the Clare Inn.

Dromoland's profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs totalling €1.1m.

The accounts show that employment costs last year increased by 2pc from €4.4m to €4.5m.

The firm's cost of sales increased last year from €2.93m to €2.99m, with operating expenses increasing from €7.9m to €8.1m.

The filings show that the company's tangible assets are valued at €27.1m.

The then-rundown castle was purchased by US citizen Bernard McDonagh from the O'Brien clan for £66,000 in 1963, and in 1987 the hotel was sold to its present owners for just under £3m.

Irish Independent

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