Hastings Hotel Group returns to profit as revenues increase 11%

The Hasting Hotel Group’s hotels include the Europa Hotel, the Grand Central hotel and the Culloden Estate and Spa in Belfast
Hastings Hotel Group returns to profit as revenues increase 11%

Gordon Deegan

The co-owner of the five-star Merrion Hotel in Dublin, the Hastings Hotel Group, last year returned to pre-tax profit of £679,674 (€786,977).

New accounts lodged by the Northern Ireland-based Hastings Hotels Holdings Ltd show the group returned to profit after revenues increased by 11 per cent to £27.99 million in the 12 months to the end of October last.

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 £49.37 million recorded in 2019.

The group’s hotels include the Europa Hotel, the Grand Central hotel and the Culloden Estate and Spa in Belfast.

Reopening

The group’s hotels re-opened for business on May 24th 2021 as Covid-19 restrictions eased and according to the finance director Peter Gibson: “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 plan.

He said: “We have continued to invest in our people and our properties and recently celebrated the Grand Central Hotel being awarded a 5-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 accounts disclose that the group received ‘other operating income’ of £6.3 million through Government grants.

Merrion losses

The group’s pre-tax loss includes a £294,043 loss on its joint venture - the group has a 50 per cent share in the Merrion hotel in Dublin.

Numbers employed by the group last year reduced from 1,161 to 934 and staff costs declining from £14.34 million to £11.62 million.

The pre-tax profit takes account of interest payments of £1.1 million and non-cash depreciation costs of £5.6 million.

Directors’ pay last year increased from £1.14 million to £1.32 million made up of £1.2 million 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 October last, the group had accumulated profits of £29.7 million. Shareholder funds amounted to £44.09 million while cash funds totalled £2.9 million.

The group carried out a restructuring last August that put a value of £35.18 million on the shareholding of Hastings Hotels Group Ltd.

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