Strong trading sees turnover rise 14% at Citywest Hotel

Growth in events and conferencing business boosts profits

The Citywest Hotel in Saggart, Co Dublin, recorded a 14 per cent rise in turnover in the first half of this year, helped by an increase in its events and conferencing business, and a spin-off from the first stage of a €13 million refurbishment programme of the 764-bedroom property.

"Trading has been very strong this year for the first half," John O'Farrell, the hotel's general manager said. "We've seen a lot of growth in the international market in terms of meetings and events."

He said the company had contracted events for next year with a number of leading players in the pharma, IT, healthcare and retail sectors.

The increase in trading follows a 20 per cent rise in revenue last year to more than €20 million in what was the hotel's first full year under the ownership of Irish investment group, Tetrarch Capital.

To meet demand, the company has taken on 70 staff, bringing the number of employees to 420. Mr O’Farrell said about 16 per cent of the hotel’s leisure business is from the UK, with Brexit creating a “lot of uncertainty”. European markets But he says Citywest’s reach into other European markets and its appeal as a conferencing venue – the centre can host 4,100 people – offers it diversification from the UK market. “We’re positive that the diversity of business will get us through the uncertainty in the UK,” he said, adding that two “major pieces of UK business” had been confirmed for next year since the Brexit result.

In terms of its refurbishment, some €4 million has been spent on new access roads and an expanded car park, including €500,000 on upgrading its wifi, which has an “uncontended” 1GB connection. Some 120 bedrooms are set to be upgraded this year with another 230 to be completed in 2017.

Mr O’Farrell said the hotel’s occupancy rate is about 60 per cent with room rates increasing this year to €120 a night, including Vat.