Hotel group Dalata has reported a 51 per cent decline in revenue to €39.6 million for the first six months of 2021 as the industry remained – for the most part – under lockdown.
The State’s largest hotel chain, however, narrowed its pre-tax losses for the period to €37.8 million, down from €70.9 million for the same period last year, a 46.6 per cent improvement.
It also said it was well positioned for the post-Covid recovery, and had begun to see a big improvement in occupancy levels since the reopening of hospitality here in June.
Specifically, it said it was seeing increasing demand for staycations since hotels fully reopened for leisure in May in the UK, and in June in Ireland.
Dalata said group occupancy was 44 per cent in June, increasing to 58 per cent in July and 68 per cent in August.
“As expected, there was strong domestic demand for hotel stays once restrictions were lifted, with occupancies improving month on month and hitting 68 per cent in August,” the company said.
It is expected the improved trading environment will deliver an increase in earnings, with adjusted Ebitda for July and August projected to be about €24 million,” it said, while noting the group had combined cash resources and undrawn debt facilities of €293 million at the end of August.
The company said its proactive working capital management and government support schemes allowed it to protect employment within the group and preserve cash during periods of low occupancies.
“Dalata hotels have fully reopened with trading improving markedly during the summer period,” it said.
The company said it had a “robust balance sheet” backed by €1.2 billion in property, plant and equipment, while liquidity remains strong with cash and undrawn committed debt facilities of €270 million.
Outgoing chief executive Pat McCann said he was pleased to report that the group’s hotels had successfully reopened to all guests in recent months.
“As a sense of normality returns to society, the demand for domestic leisure has increased across Ireland and the UK,” he said. “ Our people have skilfully managed the reopening, and are once again providing our guests with an exceptional experience.”
Deputy chief executive Dermot Crowley will succeed Mr McCann in October.