Doyle hotels reports ‘strong’ post-Covid return in leisure but corporate business ‘slower’

Latest accounts for Doyle Hotels (Holdings) Ltd show it returned to the black in 2021

The Doyle Collection hotel group saw “a strong return” in occupancies and rates in leisure market traffic this year even as business from the corporate sector is “slower” to return, its chair Bernie Gallagher has told The Irish Times.

Accounts just published by the Doyle Collection show the group returned to the black in 2021 as Covid-19 lockdown restrictions were eased in Ireland, the UK and United States.

The group reported turnover of €53.2 million for the year to the end of December 2021, up from €34.1 million in the prior 12 months. The accounts also detail how the hotel chain booked €8.5 million last year in other income, having availed of various pandemic-related Government grants in the UK and Ireland. It received €9.3 million in the previous year from wages subsidies and other grants.

In Ireland, payroll tax liabilities of €3.5 million and €600,000 in VAT payments were deferred under tax warehousing legislation. These are due to be repaid from April 2023. In addition, it availed of €3.7 million worth of commercial rates waivers in Ireland and the UK.


The hotel chain reported an operating profit of €17.3 million compared with a loss of €81.9 million in 2020, when the pandemic first forced the shutdown of economies and curtailed global air travel.

It was boosted last year by a €37 million writeback in the value of its hotel assets, which had taken a €46 million hit in 2020.

When net interest costs of €9.3 million were deducted, Doyle Hotels (Holdings) Ltd closed the financial period with a pretax profit of just under €8 million, compared with a loss of €90.1 million a year earlier.

The Doyle Collection operates eight hotels in Dublin, Cork, Bristol, London and Washington DC, including the five-star Westbury Hotel just off Grafton Street in Dublin. Its headcount reduced to 753 in 2021 from 1,114 in the previous year.

In the Republic, turnover rose to €21.4 million from €14.5 million in 2020. In the UK, its sales increased by 62 per cent to €26.4 million while revenues from the Dupont Circle in Washington DC rose to €5.4 million from €3.2 million previously.

The group said it had invested €20 million since the pandemic began in its hotels, with €4.5 million spent in 2021.

Commenting on the current trading environment, Ms Gallagher said: “The hotel sector faces new challenges over the coming 12 months with rising inflation, energy and input costs and a constrained labour market. However, we expect to see further growth for our group as an international boutique, luxury brand, particularly in London and Washington.

“This year has seen a strong return of the luxury leisure markets internationally both in terms of occupancy and rate. The corporate sector, although improving, has been slower.”

She noted a “resurgence in inbound international tourists [to Ireland] during the spring and summer months” of this year, predominantly from Europe and North America.

Ms Gallagher added that its three hotels in London – the Kensington, the Marylebone and the Bloomsbury – are “trading well” this year, while in Washington DC, “Government and corporate business was also returning and the benefit of the significant investment in the Dupont Circle is paying dividends”.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times