Stakis set to develop more Irish hotels
STAKIS, the quoted British hotel chain, plans to develop other properties in Ireland on the back of its new four-star Dublin hotel beside the Grand Canal, which opened last week.
It is the first overseas or international development by the Scottish hotel and leisure group, which has been expanding significantly over the past five years.
The £17m lease-back Dublin hotel will be followed by a stg£18.3m hotel and leisure centre in Belfast next year.
The group has 54 hotels and 22 casinos in Britain. It also operates 64 Living Well health and exercise clubs.
Group managing director Anthony Harris says the strategy in Ireland is to develop four-star hotels and ensure high room yields. He said that the recent expansion in hotel rooms may have a negative effect on hotels, especially those tax-driven developments and older two and three-star properties.
``There may be some over-building, but the casualties always come from the bottom, with older properties suffering.''
Last week Stakis announced turnover of stg£160m on its hotel operations excluding the £66m Metropole operation acquired earlier this year.
While its room occupancy rates were down slightly at 75pc, its room yield increased by £3.50 to £38.84.
The group has 5,525 bedrooms and competes with chains like Copthorne, the group sold by Aer Lingus three years ago. Its hotels account for around 80pc of operating profits.
The group grew out of a restaurant business started by Cypriot immigrant Reo Stakis in Glasgow in 1947. By 1990 the family-dominated hotel chain was experiencing tensions as one of Sir Reo's children took over as managing director.
It has retained a Scottish flavour with staff wearing tartan influenced uniforms.
In the 1960s Reo Stakis expanded into hotel properties and pioneered current standard facilities like breakfast included in the overnight price, tea and coffee-making facilities in bedrooms and discounted short-breaks offers.
At 84 the founder remains on the hotel board as ``president for life''.
Since 1990 it has grown from a £70m to an £804m business, with the Stakis family interest reduced from 27pc to 7pc. About 60pc of the equity is now held by institutional investors.