Elena Baturina takes €500,000 dividend as Morrison’s revenues spike

Hotel’s accounts show revenues up almost 10 per cent to €13.4m

The Morrison Hotel in Dublin: recently invested €250,000 in its Quay 14 bar and Morrison Grill restaurant. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

The Morrison Hotel in Dublin: recently invested €250,000 in its Quay 14 bar and Morrison Grill restaurant. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

 

Sales and profits rose strongly last year at the Morrison hotel in Dublin, which is owned by Elena Baturina, Russia’s richest woman with a fortune estimated by Forbes of $1.2 billion.

Accounts recently filed for Swift Row, the operating company behind the luxury John Rocha-designed hotel, show revenues up almost 10 per cent to €13.4 million. Profits spiked by more than a quarter to more than €1.8 million.

Despite the improved performance, however, Ms Baturina’s dividend was cut by two-thirds compared to the previous year, at €500,000. The Russian, who is married to the former mayor of Moscow, Yury Luzhko, has enjoyed dividends of €2.5 million in the past three years from her Dublin hotel investment.

Dublin’s hotel sector is in the midst of an historic boom due to record inbound tourism and a burgeoning domestic economy. Patrick Joyce, the hotel’s general manager and a director of Swift Row, said he expects the Morrison’s growth in 2018 to be “close on” its performance last year.

“The US market is very steady,” he said. “The UK market dipped when sterling fell in 2016 after the Brexit vote, but it has held firm for us since then. Occupancy is still going up. The market is very strong in Dublin.”

He said food and beverage revenues, considered a decent barometer of the local economy as it also captures sales to locals in the Morrison’s bars and restaurants, are growing “but not as much as room revenues”.

“There is a lot of new competition in the bar and restaurant scene in Dublin. But our local events business is strong. We will do about 50 weddings this year, which is up about eight or nine over last year,” he said.

The Morrison recently invested €250,000 in its Quay 14 bar and Morrison Grill restaurant, which comes on top of a €7 million revamp funded by Ms Baturina after she bought the property for €22 million from Nama during the crash.