Guests paying an average room rate of over €800 during the peak Summer months of July and August at Dromoland Castle contributed towards a projected record year at the hotel.
That is according to the general manager at the Co Clare castle hotel, Mark Nolan, who was commenting on its consolidated accounts. Pre-tax profits at the hotel business last year increased by 175 per cent to €2.45 million.
Revenues at Dromoland Castle Holdings Ltd increased by €15.78 million or 130 per cent from €12.16 million to a record €27.94 million.
The accounts cover the performance of the Dromoland Castle and its sister hotel, The Inn at Dromoland.
In an interview on Monday, Mr Nolan said: “We never felt that we would recover so quickly. When you were looking into the abyss in 2020, we were thinking ‘when will we ever get our business back?’ but it happened”.
Occupancy at the hotel this year was up 2 per cent to 62 per cent across the year and chief financial officer, Joe Hughes is projecting a 6 per cent increase in revenues on last year.
Mr Nolan said that the US remains “huge” for the hotel with US guests accounting for 67/68 per cent of guests this year. He said, however, that input costs for the business are gone “bananas”.
A breakdown of revenues shows that accommodation income increased almost three-fold from €5.8 million to €15.1 million while food and drink revenue more than doubled from €4.67 million to €10.48 million.
Golf, leisure, shop and spa revenues increased from €1.5 million to €2.25 million.
The firm also benefited from Government Covid-19 supports of €2 million last year compared to €5.99 million in 2021.
The group’s operating profit of €2.8 million was “above expectations” according to a directors’ note with the accounts as interest charges of €346,994 reduced profits to a pre-tax profit of €2.45 million.
The pre-tax profit of €2.45 million also takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €2.56 million.
The number employed increased from 315 to 446 as staff costs increased from €8.24 million to €12.39 million.
Mr Hughes also confirmed that the receiver to the Sir Anthony O’Reilly’s 5 per cent share of the business has sold the shares to existing shareholders and family members of existing shareholders.
Mr Hughes said that the 8,216 shares were sold at €231 per share resulting in €1.89 million being realised by the receiver for the shareholding.
Mr Hughes said that the sale of the shares “gives great certainty to the company in terms of future direction and you don’t have a block of 5 per cent of the shares that are out there being hawked around”.
At the end of last December, shareholder funds stood at €23.15 million which included accumulated profits of €7.18 million.