Hastings Hotels Group, the North's largest independent hotel chain, has reported increased pre-tax profits of more than £4.2 million on an improved turnover of £35.3 million for the year ending October 2015.
The family-owned group has six hotels including the five-star Culloden Estate and is currently investing £30 million in a new 4-star hotel development in Belfast which is scheduled to be completed in 2018.
Its latest end of year results show the group, which also owns the Europa Hotel in Belfast and co-owns the Merrion in Dublin, almost doubled its pre-tax profits last year from nearly £2.2 million in 2014 to over £4.23 million in 2015.
Hastings Hotels also grew its net assets to more than £35 million last year up from £32.9 million a year previously.
The 2015 accounts show that the group had bank loans and an overdraft of more than £15.7 million compared to similar facilities in the previous year of £11.2 million.
Its staff costs also increased last year, including salaries and pension costs, to £11.8 million while it highest paid director got a salary rise of £13,000 to £199,600.
The directors of the group said they considered the “out turn for the year is satisfactory” in the financial statements and have also warned that the “external commercial environment is expected to remain competitive in 2016”.
The jump in both pre-tax tax profits and turnover is largely due to strong sales growth at its hotels in the North and at the Merrion - although the accounts also refer to a ”currency translation loss” on the joint venture of £608,842 in 2015.
The directors of Hastings say they believe the group is “well placed to manage its business risks successfully despite the current uncertain economic outlook”.