Slieve Russell revenue rises as sale process continues

Former Seán Quinn-owned hotel likely to be sold this year

Results at the former Seán Quinn-owned hotel the Slieve Russell in Co Cavan “have been excellent” since last June and have outperformed the original budget, according to its parent company.

That is according to new accounts for Slieve Russell Hotel Property Ltd, which show that revenue at the hotel last year increased 16 per cent to €19.1 million.

The hotel was put on the market last month with a price tag of €35 million and the directors state that the sales process is likely to be concluded this year. CBRE is running the sale of the 224-bedroom hotel on behalf of the liquidators of IBRC, Kieran Wallace and Eamonn Richardson of Interpath Advisory.

With the collapse of the Seán Quinn empire, Irish Bank Resolution Corporation (IBRC), formerly Anglo Irish Bank, assumed control of the Slieve Russell hotel in April 2011.

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The business recorded operating profits of €1.85 million in the 12 months to the end of June last as business volumes returned to pre-Covid levels.

The hotel firm was charged €1.848 million in interest payments by IBRC (in special liquidation), reducing pretax profits to €9,000.

The interest payments are more than a threefold increase on 2022.

The firm also made loan repayments of €1.5 million to IBRC, down about €500,000 on 2022.

The directors state that the outlook for 2024 is positive and trading is expected to be in line with 2023.

They state that the company has experienced significant inflationary increases, particularly in relation to utility and payroll related costs as well as the “disruption” to food, energy and commodities markets.

The €9,000 pretax profits are a fraction tiny fraction of the €5 million earned in 2022. That included €3.3 million of employer wage subsidy scheme payments.

Numbers employed last year increased from 240 to 272 as staff costs rose from €6.99 million to €8.3 million.

Aggregate pay to key management last year increased from €669,000 to €718,000.

At the end of June last, the firm had a net liability position of €41.7 million resulting from the high level of debts owed to IBRC (in special liquidation).

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times