Lochlann Quinn transfers his shares in Merrion Hotel to his children

Accounts for five-star hotel recorded a loss of €4m last year due to impact of Covid-19

 

Businessman Lochlann Quinn has transferred his 25 per cent shareholding in the five-star Merrion Hotel in Dublin to his children, latest accounts for the company that operates the property reveal.

Accounts just filed for Hotel Merrion Ltd, the company that operates the hotel, state that Mr Quinn, a former chairman of both AIB and ESB, transferred his shares to his children post the October 31st 2020 year end.

Mr Quinn co-owned the property with fellow businessman Martin Naughton, founder of the successful Glen Dimplex electrical goods business, and the Hastings Hotel Group in Northern Ireland.

The accounts show that the Merrion made a pre-tax loss of €4.06 million last year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on trading. This compared with a profit of €2.8 million a year earlier.

Revenues declined by 31.6 per cent from €25.6 million to €17.5 million in the 12-month period. Its income was bolstered, however, by €6.3 million from apartment sales at the prime city centre site.

Shareholder loans

The accounts also show that shareholder loans amounted to €27.8 million at the year end, which was repayable on demand. Some €33.9 million in shareholder loans had been outstanding a year earlier.

Just under €14 million was owed to the Hastings Hotel Group, with €6.97 million owed to each of Mr Quinn and Mr Naughton. The hotel company also owed €23 million in bank loans at the year end.

Due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, revenues from accommodation plummeted from €15.8 million to €5.4 million, while income from food and beverages reduced from €8.6 million to €4.9 million.

Leisure centre income increased to €344,694, rental revenue more than doubled to €322,267 but income from “other” activities declined to €227,710 from €799,791, the accounts state.

The Merrion Hotel comprises 123 rooms and 19 suites, and houses the two-Michelin-star Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud. Staff numbers last year reduced from 327 to 206, with the bill for wages and salaries reduced by €4 million to €5.3 million. Directors emoluments were unchanged at €120,000.

The directors state that the business was adversely affected by Covid-19 but said: “We believe we can recover revenue streams and regain profitability when vaccinations are widely provided.”