Profits up 80 per cent at Fitzwilliam Hotel operator

Hospitality group, which also owns the Bailey Bar, saw a 12% rise in full-year turnover

Ampleforth, the hospitality group which operates the five-star Fitzwilliam Hotel in Dublin, saw profits jump by 80 per cent last year, newly filed accounts show.

The Michael Holland-controlled company, which also owns the Bailey bar and tour operating group Irish Welcome Tours, recorded a €4.27 million pre-tax profit for 2015, up from €2.36 million a year earlier.

Turnover rose 12 per cent to €36.5 million from €32.7 million in 2014, while operating profits climbed 33 per cent to €5.04 million, from €3.77 million.

Mr Holland took full control of Ampleforth in 2004 after buying out then partner Brendan Gilmore's stake in the firm for an estimated €25 million at a time when the group owned the Fitzwilliam Hotels in Dublin and Belfast, and the Royal Dublin Hotel on O'Connell Street.


Ampleforth still operates the Fitzwilliam Dublin and acquired the Bailey Bar, off Grafton Street, in 2011.

Sister company

A sister company of Ampleforth bought the 130-bedroom Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast last October in a deal valued at about €23 million.

Mr Holland's management company, Hotel Partners, had been running the hotel on Great Victoria Street in the city since mid-2009. Hotel Partners also manages a number of other properties including Portmarnock Hotel and Links, Lough Erne Golf Resort and the Park Plaza in Belfast.

Ampleforth, which employed 163 people at the end of 2015, up from 147 a year earlier, said staff costs, including directors’ remuneration, totalled €4.99 million.

Key management personnel received remuneration of €493,954 with directors’ fees totalling €20,000.

Ampleforth said CBRE carried out a valuation of the Fitzwilliam Dublin, which valued the property at €40 million with possible additions bringing the potential value up to €43.5 million. The Bailey was valued at €1.7 million.

As a result of the valuation, Ampleforth owned properties were revalued by €7.2 million in the year ending December 2014, the group said.

“The directors are satisfied with the group’s performance during the year. The group will continue to concentrate on its core activity of hospitality and tourism-related services. The directors are actively seeking new opportunities in this regard,” Ampleforth said.

Mr Holland also owns the Four Star Pizza master franchise for Ireland and Britain through his investment vehicle Gonville.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist