Hotel group has cash to expand

The Hodson Bay Hotel Group wants to expand its hotel business into Dublin, managing director Padraig Sugrue confirmed yesterday.

Mr Sugrue revealed the group’s expansion plans after describing the hotel group recording the profit last year as “a mammoth achievement in a very difficult environment”.

The group operates the four-star, 182-bed Hodson Bay Hotel and 167-bed Sheraton Hotel in Athlone, Co Westmeath, along with the four-star, 153-bed Galway Bay Hotel.

Accounts filed by the hotels’ holding company, Shermond Holdings Ltd, show the group returned to a post-tax profit of €56,455 in the 12 months to the end of February 2011, after recording a post-tax loss of €1m in the 2010 fiscal year.

The balance sheet shows the group has cash in hand of €11m to spend on new ventures in Dublin.

The company’s total shareholder funds stand at €17.8m and Mr Sugrue said: “We have substantial reserves, a strong balance sheet and are looking to expand in the Dublin area if the opportunity presents itself.”

Revenues at the group, which employs 500 people, declined last year by 3.6% from €24.7m to €23.8m.

The group more than doubled its operating profit from €757,055 to €1.77m last year — mainly through reducing its cost of sales from €12.9m to €12m. However, net interest payments of €1.75m and a tax credit of €36,993 resulted in after-tax profits of €56,455.

The profit last year includes a non-cash depreciation charge of €2.4m showing the group’s cash profit last year amounted to €2.49m.

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