The five star Ashford Castle hotel has this year enjoyed “a post Covid-19 bounce” with better-than-expected recovery in the hotel’s US market.
New accounts for Ashford Castle Hotel Ltd show that revenue last year increased by 60 per cent from €7.8 million to €12.5 million, while pretax losses narrowed from €7.48 million to €3.06 million.
General manager Niall Rochford said 2022 “has been a positive year” for the business. “Staycationers” accounted for 80 per cent of hotel revenue during 2021, a reversal from pre-pandemic years when overseas visitors accounted for 80 per cent of hotel revenues
Mr Rochford said that US business “has rebounded particularly well this year — better than expected”.
Last year’s performance “was reasonable given that our industry and businesses were decimated by Covid-19”, he said.
“We were still at 50 per cent of what we would normally expect for a full year in terms of revenues. Business was still very much on its knees but we feel it is a satisfactory performance given all the issues and challenges that we had to deal with Covid-19,” he said.
The hotel’s profit and loss account show that losses would have been far higher but for €5 million in operating income that was made up of Covid-19 wage support payments of €4.88 million and €172,358 in Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS) payments.
Mr Rochford said that the Government’s Covid-19 wage supports provided great support “and allowed us to retain 100 per cent of staff who want to stay with us”.
Mr Rochford said 450 people are employed on the Ashford estate. Staff costs last year increased from €4.62 million to €7.53 million.
On the hotel’s prospects for next year, Mr Rochford said that “there is no certainty that 2023 will be as good as this year after the post Covid-19 bounce enjoyed this year”.
The hotel is dealing with a 300 per cent increase in energy costs and 30-40 per cent rise in food costs, he said.