Friday 17 November 2017

Trump's Doonbeg resort racks up €2.5m loss as revamp of golf course continues

Donald Trump's golf course in Doonbeg
Donald Trump's golf course in Doonbeg
US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump on a recent visit to the five-star property in Co Clare, which has been rebranded as the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland

Donald Trump's golf course in Doonbeg hit the rough in the first year under the billionaire's ownership, racking up a €2.5m loss.

Accounts for the company behind the famed golf course and resort in Co Clare - TIGL Ireland Enterprises - reveal that the loss was made between February and December last year.

The company blamed the poor scorecard on the write-off of various start-up costs incurred as part of the acquisition of the business.

"The company has commenced a redesign of the golf course, which will be completed in 2016," the accounts note. "As a result, the course will not be fully operational until 2016 and the directors forecast further losses in 2015."

Directors of the firm behind the resort include Mr Trump's children, Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr.

Doonbeg had been developed at an initial cost of €28m when it opened in 2002.

While a report showed last year that receivers had obtained just under €9m for the sale of the property, the accounts for TIGL show that it paid €14.4m for the acquisition of tangible fixed assets. That included €9.6m for land and buildings and €2.6m for the golf course. The accounts for the business show that it received a €15.2m capital injection last year.

In documents Mr Trump filed this year in the United States in connection with his Presidential campaign, he placed a €23m valuation on the Doonbeg property. He also said the resort is generating annual revenue of about $10m (€11.4m).

The sale to the businessman didn't include a number of luxury suites that had been sold to investors during the boom and leased back to the hotel. They bought those suites as investments, expecting to generate annual rental income and capital appreciation. Some 47 suites had been sold to investors at prices ranging between €1.2m and €1.8m.

The sale to Mr Trump included the five-star hotel lodge, seven unsold suites and the Greg Norman-designed golf course. Mr Trump has pledged to invest up to €45m in Doonbeg and create hundreds of jobs. He said he would transform Doonbeg into a "truly iconic" golf destination.

The property has been rebranded as the Trump International Golf Links and Hotel Ireland.


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