Business Irish

Thursday 19 September 2019

Earnings rise to €850,000 at five-star Lough Eske Castle

Luxury by the Lough: Five-star hotel in Donegal has moved to full-time opening in the winter
Luxury by the Lough: Five-star hotel in Donegal has moved to full-time opening in the winter

Gordon Deegan

Earnings rose to €850,000 at the five-star Lough Eske Castle hotel in Co Donegal last year.

The luxury hotel is part of Pat Doherty's Harcourt Developments and the hotel business enjoyed the increase in earnings before interest, tax depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) as revenues rose from €8.6m to €8.9m.

Numbers employed last year fell from 177 to 173 as staff costs rose from €4.1m to €4.3m.

Harcourt Developments' Finance Director, Nick Doherty, said that "2017 was a positive year of trading for Lough Eske with revenues increasing by 4pc and occupancy growing by 8pc".

He added: "We also moved to an operating model of full-time opening during the winter season, which has been well received by the market."

The accounts show that the Lough Eske Development Ltd's pre-tax profits last year declined by 97pc from €1.76m to €40,547.

The profit takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €788,989.

Mr Doherty explained: "The hotel's profits in 2016 were boosted by exceptional items including the reversal of an historic refurbishment provision and the adjustment of other accruals.

"On a like-for-like basis operating profits have actually increased in 2017 due to overall improved trading conditions."

He said: "Trade has continued to be very buoyant in 2018 with all of our key markets performing well. In particular our US market has grown significantly and the domestic market is also performing strongly.

"We are forecasting a further increase in both revenues and operating profits year on year."

The sharp drop in pre-tax profit arose from the company's administrative expenses doubling from €2m to €4.1m.

Accumulated losses reduced marginally from €5.72m to €5.69m.

The company's cash pile fell from €534,803 to €348,635.

Irish Independent

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