Doyle hotels report no adverse impact from Brexit
Westbury owner posts 5% rise in turnover to €142m with operating profit up 40% to €21m
The Doyle Collection hotel group invested €15 million in upgrading its hotels last year, mostly on the five-star Westbury in Dublin and its Bloomsbury property in London.
The Irish-owned Doyle Collection hotel group recorded strong increases in its turnover and profits last year and says it has not seen any negative impact on trade at its London hotels as a result of Brexit.
Accounts just filed from Doyle Hotels (Holdings) Ltd show that its turnover rose by just under 5 per cent to €141.5 million while its operating profit increased by 40 per cent to €20.8 million.
It closed the year with a pretax profit of €12.9 million, up from €2.5 million in 2016.
Its cost of sales rose by 3.8 per cent to just under €110 million while its administrative expenses increased by 11.4 per cent to €6.1 million.
The group has three hotels in London – Kensington, Marylebone and Bloomsbury – but is reporting no ill-effects from Brexit. It said corporate business has remained steady while summer leisure trade has been good, helped by the value of sterling and strong inward business from North America.
UK revenues rose by 3.5 per cent to just more than €62 million last year, the accounts show, making up 44 per cent of the group total. The group has hedged its currency exposure for the next 12 months as a counter to the possible impact of Brexit.
The Doyle group told The Irish Times that its key concern about Brexit is labour availability and increased red tape from employing EU nationals.
Revenues from the Republic increased by 9.5 per cent to €54 million while the US was flat at €25 million.
The Irish hotel group invested €15 million in upgrading its hotels last year, mostly on the five-star Westbury in Dublin and its Bloomsbury property in London. The Westbury was this month voted the number one hotel in Ireland by the US Conde Nast Traveler reader awards.
It said the investment programme had boosted its trading performance, with improvements in its average room rates, notably in London.
The Doyle group plans to spend the same amount in 2018, with some 40 per cent of this being used to upgrade its Dupont Circle Hotel in Washington DC. This involves a full renovation of the entire ground floor, while a new 5,000sq ft penthouse suite has been added with a garden terrace overlooking the Washington Monument.
This will impact the hotel’s trading performance this year with the new facilities due to open in the first quarter of 2019.
The group said trading in the UK and Ireland this year has once again been “strong”. In Ireland, the strong economic performance has led to an increase in ground-floor business in the bars, restaurants and in their meeting and event spaces.
They company cited an uplift in “staycations” in the UK this summer due to the good weather, and stronger incoming trade from the US due to the attractive currency exchange.
The accounts show the company employed an average of 1,383 staff last year, with employee costs running to just under €51 million. The group revalued its property portfolio during the year, with an uplift in value of €5.2 million being recorded.