Pretax profits at Hastings Group soar £5.2m

Family-owned hotel group behind Merrion posts 7.8% increase in sales to October 2017

Caitriona Lavery and Howard Hastings are joined by John McGrillen of  Tourism NI at launch of Belfast’s Grand Central Hotel which opened in June.

Caitriona Lavery and Howard Hastings are joined by John McGrillen of Tourism NI at launch of Belfast’s Grand Central Hotel which opened in June.

 

The Hastings Group which has just opened its seventh hotel in the North, the £53 million Grand Central in Belfast, enjoyed a 7.8 per cent jump in sales last year, pushing annual pretax profits to more than £5.2 million.

Latest financial accounts for the family-owned hotel group, which also holds a 50 per cent stake in the five-star Merrion Hotel in Dublin, show that turnover also increased by more than £2.8 million last year to hit a high of £39.6 million.

According to the accounts, the Hastings Group received £647,504 last year from its joint venture in the Landmark Investment Company which holds 100 per cent of the share capital in Hotel Merrion Limited.

Although the hotel group, which employs more than 1,000 people in the North, may have strengthened its financial performance last year, its latest accounts are also tinged with sadness as they mark the passing of Sir William Hastings in December 2017, who had been at the helm of the family business for more than 50 years.

Legacy of William Hastings

The directors state in their report that: “Sir William almost single-handedly built up the group from the 1960s to what it is today. The group was his life and he is sorely missed by the directors and staff.”

The latest set of accounts for the 12 months ending October 2017 show that the value of the Hastings Group’s “tangible assets” jumped by more than £25 million to £77.4 million last year.

This included a value of £32 million placed on the Grand Central Hotel which was under construction at the time.

The 23-storey hotel in the centre of Belfast, which the Hastings Group said was the single biggest investment it has undertaken, opened for business last month.

The level of this investment is also reflected in the latest financial accounts which show the increase in the hotel group’s bank loans and overdraft jumped from £14.8 million in 2016 to more than £33.1 million in 2017.