The relaxation of Covid-related travel and public health restrictions last year buoyed trading at the two luxury hotels on the Ashford Castle estate in Mayo despite a sharp rise in food and labour costs.
New accounts for Ashford Castle Hotel Ltd and The Lodge at Ashford Castle Ltd show the two Tollman family-owned businesses continued their recovery from the impact of the pandemic, which shuttered the two hotels for a time in 2020.
Hotel revenues at the five-star Ashford Castle Hotel more than doubled in 2022 to €27.2 million, well above pre-Covid levels of €22.9 million.
“The increase in revenue in the year is due to the hospitality market improving over the course of the year as lockdowns and restrictions in relation to Covid-19 relaxed,” the directors noted in a report attached to the accounts.
After tax, the hotel operator turned a €19.3 million profit for the year compared with a more than €3 million loss in 2021. Adjusted earnings also increased to €7.7 million, up from €4.2 million in 2021, the directors said.
At the four-star Lodge, meanwhile, revenues climbed 87.4 per cent to almost €6.1 million but adjusted earnings declined to €792,899 from more than €1 million in 2021 as the business grappled with a steep rise in sales costs, which climbed from €3.8 million to €5 million.
Both hotel properties experienced costs increases in the year, according to the directors, the “main drivers” of which were food and labour costs.
At Ashford Castle, where staff levels increased from 264 to 326 in the year as the hotel turned the corner from the pandemic, the company’s wages and salaries costs increased by almost a €1 million to €8.4 million.
Both companies continued to receive Government supports in the 2022 financial year. Ashford Castle received more than €950,000 through the Employment Wage Subsidy, down from €5 million in 2021, while the Lodge received almost €254,000, a drop from €1.7 million in 2021.