Griffin hotel group says ‘relentless rise’ in interest rates behind drop in profit

Operator of Monart Destination Spa and Ferrycarrig Hotel in Co Wexford, as well as nearby Hotel Kilkenny, sees profits fall by a third

The Garden Lounge at Monart Destination Spa in Wexford. Photograph: Colin Shanahan

Griffin Group Hotels, which operates the Monart Destination Spa and the Ferrycarrig Hotel in Co Wexford, as well as the nearby Hotel Kilkenny, saw its profits drop by more than a third last year.

The business said it was “significantly impacted” by the rise in interest rates, as well as in the cost of food and energy.

It reported a profit of €1.8 million for the year, which was down from €2.9 million in 2021 and €2.2 million in pre-pandemic 2019.

On the brighter side, turnover recovered to €25 million as public health restrictions were lifted. Turnover in 2021 amounted to €12.8 million, while the group generated a turnover of €25.2 million in 2019.


Griffin Group Hotels chief executive Michael Griffin said the rise in the basic cost of living, the war in Ukraine, energy insecurity, and the “relentless rise” in interest rates has “without doubt dampened the ability of our sector to create profit”.

The hotel group said about 80 per cent of the revenue it generated was spent within the local economy, including on local suppliers, food and wages.

The group continued to invest in its properties with €2.1 million capital spent throughout 2022. It invested in the significant refurbishment of all bedrooms at Monart Destination Spa, a major renovation of Hotel Kilkenny’s Rosehill 1831 bar and continued refurbishment of the Ferrycarrig Hotel bedrooms and public areas.

The group also installed and commissioned the first phase of its Monart Solar farm, which secured planning in 2022 and began energy production in April 2023.

The first phase of the works at the 10-acre Monart Solar Farm cost €750,000 to complete. It is comprised of an array of ground-mounted solar panels with a 500-kilowatt peak.

The second phase within the 10-acre site is currently being planned with ESB Networks. This additional phase will see the rollout of a further 1 megawatt peak array, giving the final Monart Solar Farm the capacity to create 1.5 megawatt peak energy.

The group said the development will offset the energy demand for all three Griffin Group properties. The company is working towards completing this project in 2024.

Ken McElhinney, the group’s director of sustainability, said it would invest a further €1.2 million in sustainability measures in 2024.

Mr Griffin added that, in light of the macroeconomic conditions, the group was “very proud” of the performance of its teams and the continued investment programme in its hotel and spa operations for 2022.

“Operating a sustainable business in every sense is critically important at the Griffin Hotel Group for our guests, our team, future generations and the environment,” he said.

“That is why we continue identifying and investing directly into sustainable projects, excluding normal hotel operations and refurbishments.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter