Morrison hotel serves up €1.5m dividend to Russia’s richest woman

Gross profit at Dublin hotel up more than 15 per cent last year as sales reach €12.2 million

Net profit at the Morrison hotel in Dublin rose to almost €1.5 million last year from €1.3 million the year before. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Net profit at the Morrison hotel in Dublin rose to almost €1.5 million last year from €1.3 million the year before. Photograph: Dave Meehan

 

Elena Baturina, Russia’s richest woman with a $1 billion fortune according to Forbes, is €1.5 million richer after the luxury Dublin hotel she owns, the Morrison on the city’s quays, paid her yet another dividend.

The payment is revealed in accounts recently filed for Swift Row, the operating company for the John Rocha-designed hotel, which she bought from the National Asset Management Agency for about €22 million in 2012.

The hotel’s profitability and sales are on the rise, with the Dublin hotel market in the middle of a purple patch due to burgeoning demand and a chronic supply shortage that has boosted occupancy levels.

The Morrison, which operates under Hilton’s Doubletree brand, booked sales last year of €12.2 million, the accounts say. This was up from €11.1 million the previous year.

Gross profit was up by more than 15 per cent, while net profit rose to almost €1.5 million from €1.3 million the year before.

The spike in performance allowed Ms Baturina to triple the dividend from the previous year’s €500,000. The cash was paid to the Austrian company through which she owns the Morrison, Inteco Beteiligungs.

Ms Baturina is married to the well-connected former mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhkov, who, along with Ms Baturina, was once considered close to Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin.

She made her fortune in the construction business while her husband was Moscow mayor, before selling up and branching out to other industries after he left office. In addition to the Morrison, on which she lavished €7 million in a revamp prior to its 2013 reopening, she also owns hotels in Austria, the Czech Republic and St Petersburg. She also has substantial interests in renewable energy.

The 138-bedroom Morrison was originally developed by the late publican Hugh O’Regan, who eventually ceded control of the property first to the developer Paddy Kelly and then, ultimately, to Nama.