Citywest Hotel to remain closed to guests this year as HSE deal is extended

Business returned to operating profit last year, accounts show

In recent months the Citywest Hotel has operated as one of the HSE’s main vaccination centres. Photograph: iStock

In recent months the Citywest Hotel has operated as one of the HSE’s main vaccination centres. Photograph: iStock

 

The Citywest Hotel in Dublin, the largest in the country, will not be reopening to guests until 2022 due to its continuing role in the Health Service Executive effort against Covid-19.

A spokesman for the Citywest Hotel Group confirmed on Thursday that the HSE contract with the property has been extended and is now not due to expire until early 2022.

The spokesman was commenting on new accounts which show that the Citywest Hotel Group returned to operating profit last year after an initial €21 million deal with the HSE to use the hotel as a Covid-19 isolation centre.

The 756-bedroom Citywest temporarily ceased to operate as a hotel in March 2020 and in recent months has also operated as one of the HSE’s main vaccination centres.

New accounts filed by Alva Glen Investments Ltd and subsidiaries show that the Citywest Hotel Group recorded an operating profit of €3.34 million for 2020 after recording an operating loss of €222,599 in 2019.

Hotel firms in the State are generally reporting a 70 per cent to 80 per cent drop in revenue for last year due to Covid-19 shutdowns. However, revenue at the Tetrarch Capital-owned Citywest Hotel Group declined by only 7.5 per cent from €30.6 million to €28.3 million last year, with the figure boosted by the HSE deal.

The business recorded a pretax profit of €244,496 in 2020 after interest payable charges of €2.96 million and a non-cash property write-down of €140,000 were incurred.

Loss-making

Directors noted that the group “has continued to be loss-making since October 2020 when the HSE signed an extension to June 30th, 2021, at a materially lower rate”. The directors said the group had significant capital costs in respect of the HSE licence agreement.

The directors also pointed out that the HSE had an option to occupy another building on the Citywest campus which the group “made fit for habitation at a cost of several million euro”, but the authority did not take up that option. The directors said they had not availed of any Government supports in relation to Covid-19 in 2020.

The group spokesman said the business continues to be loss-making under current licence arrangements with the HSE, which are due to expire in early 2022.

“As international travel for both leisure and business returns, we are optimistic that Citywest Hotel is set for a return to the strong position it held pre-Covid,” he said.

The hotel is seeing a “positive rebound” in enquiries from the domestic market, he added. 

Numbers employed last year reduced by 222 from 392 to 170, with staff costs falling from €9.8 million to €6.28 million.