Irish Open helps drive recovery at Carton House

Losses fell 11% in 2012 as revenue grew to €16.3m at the hotel and golfing resort

Rory McIlroy playing at the Irish Open at Carton House last year. Photograph: Getty Images

Rory McIlroy playing at the Irish Open at Carton House last year. Photograph: Getty Images


Pretax losses at the four-star hotel resort that hosted last year’s Irish Open fell 11 per cent to €1.83 million in 2012.

Accounts filed for 2012 and 2011 for Chockablock Ltd and its subsidiary that operates Carton House in Kildare show that the business recorded combined losses of €3.89 million in the two years.

Revenue up
Losses fell 11 per cent in 2012 to €1.83 million as revenue grew from €15.89 million to €16.3 million. The directors’ report for Chockablock says: “The results for the year demonstrate the growing strength of Carton House. The profit generated before interest and rents amounted to €1.35 million (€1.12m in 2011). Growth of 3 per cent in revenues and a 21 per cent improvement in profitability are very significant achievements in the current challenging economic environment.”

The resort’s sporting facilities are used by top sporting teams. The resort’s profile received a boost when Rory McIlroy and other golfers competed at the Montgomerie golf course in the Irish Open. The 1,100-acre estate includes the 165-bedroom Carton House hotel. It was developed by Paddy Kelly and the Mallaghan family, who own Carton House, as a hotel and resort.

Mr Kelly remains a director and major shareholder in Chockablock Ltd. (In 2011, Nama appointed receivers to a number of hotel firms owned by Mr Kelly.)

Chockablock Ltd paid €2.95 million in “hotel rental expense” and €232,000 in bank interest payments. In 2011 it recorded a €3.2 million impairment on its assets.

Golf courses
Chockablock Ltd owns Carton’s two championship golf courses. The accounts give them a book value of €16.5 million. Its turnover comes from operation of the hotel and leisure centre and income from the operation of the golf courses and related golf activities.

Accounts for 2007 to 2010 show that combined pre-tax losses in those years of €13.9 million contributed to the firm having accumulated losses of €39.56 million at the end of 2012. The firm had a shareholders’ deficit of €27.9 million. In 2011 Nama acquired the group’s bank loans and bank loans of the connected parties from participating institutions.

The report states: “The directors are in discussion with other investors to secure continuing finance for the company.”