The co-owner of the five-star Merrion Hotel in Dublin, the Hastings Hotel Group, last year returned to a pre-tax profit of £679,674 (€786,977).
New accounts lodged by Northern Ireland Hastings Hotels Holdings Ltd show that the group returned to profit after revenues increased by 11pc from £25.12m to £27.99m in the 12 months to the end of last October. The hotel business was impacted by Covid-19 over the two years and last year’s revenues were down sharply on the pre-Covid-19 revenues of £49.37m recorded in 2019.
The group’s hotels include the Europa Hotel, the Grand Central hotel and the Culloden Estate and Spa in Belfast.
The group’s hotels reopened for business on May 24, 2021 as Covid-19 restrictions eased.
“Following a turbulent number of years for all businesses, particularly those in the tourism industry, we are pleased to report we are on track in our post Covid recovery,” Hastings Hotels Finance Director Peter Gibson said yesterday:
“We have continued to invest in our people and our properties and recently celebrated the Grand Central Hotel being awarded a five-star rating by the AA.”
Mr Gibson said: “We have worked hard to attract the domestic and Republic of Ireland markets and now with the international visitors starting to return and our forward bookings for the summer looking very positive, we are committed to building on this in the months ahead.”
The directors state that last year’s performance was satisfactory “given the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic”.
The accounts disclose that the group received ‘other operating income’ of £6.3m through government grants.
The group’s pre-tax loss includes a £294,043 loss on its joint venture – the group has a 50pc share in the Merrion Hotel in Dublin.
Numbers employed by the group last year reduced from 1,161 to 934 and staff costs declined from £14.34m to £11.62m.
The pre-tax profit takes account of interest payments of £1.1m and non-cash depreciation costs of £5.6m.
Directors’ pay last year increased from £1.14m to £1.32m made up of £1.2m in pay and £51,389 in pension contributions. The highest paid director received pay of £274,005 that includes pension payments of £52,630
At the end of last October, the group had accumulated profits of £29.7m. Shareholder funds amounted to £44.09m while cash funds were £2.9m. A group restructuring last August put a value of £35.18m on the shareholding of Hastings Hotels.