Hotel group Dalata sees growth in operating profits

The chief executive of the country’s largest hotel group said yesterday that the Dalata Group significantly increased its revenues last year and had good growth in its operating profits.

Pat McCann also confirmed that the number of hotel rooms owned and operated by the Dalata group has increased from 3,000 at the end of 2010 to 4,700 currently.

Mr McCann was commenting on accounts recently returned to the Companies Registration Office for Dalata Ltd that show that the group recorded an operating profit of €332,000 in 2010.

However, finance costs at the Dalata Group totalling €4.1m resulted in the group recording a pre-tax loss of €3.8m in the 12 months to the end of December 2010.

The figures show that revenues at the group declined by 3% from €31.5m to €30.6m.

Mr McCann said: “We have moved out of survival mode to a period of value creation and growth.”

On 2010, Mr McCann said: “It was a year of stabilisation and we added value to the business in 2011 and will continue to do so this year.”

The group has grown rapidly during the recession, taking on management contracts for stressed businesses such as the Citywest Hotel in Dublin, the Heritage Golf and Spa Report in Portlaoise and two former Lynch Group hotel properties in Clare and Mayo amongst others.

It also operates its own Maldron brand hotels in centres including Dublin, Cork, Galway and Limerick.

Mr McCann said: “I’m very satisfied with how the business is going given the environment that we operate in. The business was inreal difficulty in 2008 and 2009 and we have made great progress since.”

Mr McCann said that providing management services to otherhotels “was initially a survival tactic in 2009, but now we are the leading player in the business”.

Mr McCann said that the group now employs 800 directly and a further 2,500 jobs in its hotel network.

He said that 1,500 of itsbedrooms are under the Maldron banner with the remaining 3,200 rooms at the managed hotels.

The filings show that the group’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €832,000 for 2010 compared to EBITDA of €224,000 in 2009.

The group has bank borrowings of €11m and shareholder borrowings of €42.3m.

The group had cash of €3.1m and a shareholders’ deficit of €44.6m and €35.1m of this related to an impairment of goodwill in 2009.

The average number of people employed by the group in 2010 was 377 with staff costs at €10.6m.

Mr McCann said that there is an over-supply of hotel rooms inIreland. He said: “There is nothing in legislation that will address this. It will be addressed by pureeconomics and the weaker assets will close.”

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