Profits at Fitzpatrick Hotels up one-third
PROFITS AT the two Fitzpatrick hotels in New York rose by one-third last year as corporate business rebounded strongly following the economic downturn.
Latest accounts for Fitzpatrick Hotels Ltd, which is owned by well known Irish businessman John Fitzpatrick, show that pre-tax profits increased to $2.7 million in the 12 months to the end of September 2011, up from $2 million a year earlier.
Turnover rose to just under $23 million last year compared with $21.7 million in 2010.
Mr Fitzpatrick is expecting another strong performance from his four-star hotels in 2012.
Turnover is forecast to rise by 3 per cent to 4 per cent in the current year and its pretax profit by 15 per cent.
Room revenue from corporate accounts increased last year by 22 per cent or $1 million.
Most of the growth last year came from the second half of the year when its average occupancy rate hit a new high of 87.7 per cent. This was against a backdrop of increased supply in the hotel sector in New York, with an additional 4,000 rooms added in the city last year.
The hotel group is also now focusing more on social media, and will shortly launch a mobile phone app that will allow customers to book rooms on their smartphones or computer tablets.
Mr Fitzpatrick said the company had put an increased focus on the UK market, where it had won both corporate and leisure business.
“It’s really boosted our business,” said Mr Fitzpatrick. “And corporates are beginning to travel again. They are back on the road and selling. Our job now is to get the average room rate up.” Mr Fitzpatrick, who featured in RTÉ’s The Secret Millionaire programme last year, said his hotels – the Fitzpatrick Manhattan and Fitzpatrick Grand Central – were currently achieving an average room rate of about $285, which is up slightly on 2011.
The accounts, which were provided to The Irish Times, show that Fitzpatrick Hotels paid a dividend last year of $240,000, the same as in 2010.
The company’s net debt reduced to $45.4 million at the end of September 2011 from $47.6 million a year earlier. It paid $926,000 in interest costs and other charges last year.
Directors’ fees were broadly unchanged at just under $1.1 million last year, while the cost of wages and salaries for the 155 staff was flat at $8.8 million.
“It’s not easy out there. It’s about going out and selling. The market is tough, but this has been a really good year for us.” said Mr Fitzpatrick.