Hastings Hotels Group reports 39% fall in profits
Co-owner of Merrion Hotel’s turnover rises 4% to £41.18m
Merrion Hotel, Dublin: co-owner Hastings Hotels Group’s profit has dropped 39 per cent to £3.19 million in the competitive hotel sector. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Profits have tumbled almost 40 per cent at Northern Ireland’s largest hotel group, which is co-owner of Dublin’s five-star Merrion Hotel.
Accounts just filed by the Hastings Hotels Group show that profit fell 39 per cent to £3.19 million (€3.5 million) even though turnover at the group was 4 per cent stronger in the 12 months to the end of last October at £41.18 million.
The group currently owns seven luxury hotels across Northern Ireland including the five-star Culloden estate. It is a 50 per cent shareholder of Dublin’s Merrion Hotel from which it shared £1 million in profit last year.
Group’s profits were boosted by a £334,937 gain in the value of an investment property.
Group staff costs rose 12 per cent to £14.83 million as average staff numbers increased by 138 to 1,244. Directors’ pay was reduced from £1.1 million to £988,622.
Expansion, which saw the group spend £23.58 million on the purchase of assets in 2018 on top of £24.84 million the previous year, has seen group interest costs almost double from £761,071 to £1.49 million.
The directors state that the group “will continue to seek every opportunity to increase profitable turnover” in what they characterise as a competitive environment.