Donald Trump's Doonbeg golf resort returns to operating profit

A chief factor behind the operating profit was €1.84 million received in Covid-19 supports from the Government.
Donald Trump's Doonbeg golf resort returns to operating profit

Gordon Deegan

The Donald Trump-owned Doonbeg luxury golf resort in Co Clare last year recorded operating profits of €509,892.

New accounts show the former US president's TIGL Ireland Enterprises Ltd recorded an operating profit of €509,892 in 2021 after sustaining operating losses of €1.98 million in 2020 – a positive swing of €2.49 million.

The business returned to operating profit after revenues increased by 90 per cent, or €3.4 million, from €3.76 million to €7.17 million.

The business was boosted by staycations during the summer as most people opted to holiday in Ireland due to ongoing Covid-19 travel restrictions.

A chief factor behind the operating profit was €1.84 million received in Covid-19 supports from the Government.

A note attached to the accounts states that “while the hotel had to close for a period in 2020 and 2021 in line with Government guidelines and restrictions, it has performed well since re-opening”.

The group recorded a pre-tax loss of €1.55 million but only after taking into account hefty non-cash depreciation and amortisation charges of €2.05 million.

The former president’s sons, Donald Trump Jnr and Eric Trump, remain on the board. They state in their directors’ report that they are continuing to upgrade the facilities at the Trump International Hotel and Golf Club.

"It is expected that this will enhance the customer experience and have a positive impact on the group’s and company’s trading results,” the report says.

A US flag flies in front of Doonbeg Golf Club in Co Clare. Photo: PA

Planning permission was granted in October 2019 for a €40 million plan that includes 53 holiday homes, a ballroom/function room, a leisure centre and a new restaurant.

The Trumps and third member of the board, General Manager, Joe Russell state that “despite worldwide staffing shortages the property has maintained its core staffing complement, a testament to the company’s focus on retention and employee well-being”.

The directors said the resort continues to receive some of the highest accolades including Golf Digest World’s Greatest Golf Courses in 2020 and Best Golf Courses in Ireland in 2022.

Numbers employed at the resort last year rebounded from 112 to 137, though remained someway below the 230 employed in 2019.

Staff costs last year increased from €3.54 million to €4.82 million.

The Trump Organisation has ploughed more than €40 million, including the purchase price, into the resort since it came under the ownership of the Trump Organisation in February 2014.

The new accounts show that a further €506,155 was ploughed into the resort last year and this followed €1.5 million invested into the business by way of a capital contribution in 2020.

The Trump organisation purchased the resort for a knock-down price and since then the former US president has visited the resort seven times.

The most high-profile visit was in June 2019 which was the businessman’s only visit to Ireland while president.

The two-night visit by the president provided a windfall for the resort when it received €107,625 for providing food and catering to gardaí on overtime protecting the president.

At the end of last year, the company’s shareholder funds totalled €16.98 million, made up of €16.7 million in accumulated losses offset by €33.77 million in other reserves.

The company last year recorded a gross profit of €6.1 million and administrative expenses of €7.47 million offset by "other operating income" of €1.84 million resulted in the operating profit of €509,892.

Former president Trump and his daughter Ivanka stepped down as directors from the company on January 19th 2017 – one day prior to Trump’s inauguration.

The accounts were only signed off by the directors, Eric Trump and general manager Joe Russell, on November 24th.

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