Five-star Co Donegal hotel sees profits fall by 25%

Pre-tax profits at the firm that operates the five-star Lough Eske Castle Hotel near Donegal town declined by 25% to €738,081 in 2013. The hotel is owned by Donegal man Pat Doherty’s Harcourt Developments which recently obtained unlimited status, meaning the property group is no longer required to file accounts.

Five-star Co Donegal hotel sees profits fall by 25%

However, accounts filed by Lough Eske Developments Ltd with the Companies Office show that the hotel recorded the drop in profit after revenues fell from €6.87m to €6.75m in the 12 months to the end of December 2013.

The directors’ report says “2013 was another positive year for the hotel, turnover decreased slightly but the hotel has still been profitable”. The directors state that although conditions are still challenging in the hotel industry “the company is confident of seeing continuing improvement, with sufficient amount of business already secured”.

The profit in 2013 takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €666,194. Numbers employed at the hotel reduced from 149 to 134 with staff costs reduced from €4.5m to €4.37m.

Accumulated losses last year reduced from €7.424m to €6.686m. The firm’s cash during the year increased from €164,223 to €307,680.

A note attached to the accounts says the firm had a deficit position on its balance sheet of €6.68m at the end of December 31st 2013.

The note states: “Group cash flow projections for the parent company, Harcourt Developments Ltd have been prepared for the next 12 months which show sufficient headroom for the group to meet debt service obligations and overhead running costs.”

It further states that on this basis, the directors consider it appropriate to prepare the financial statements on a going concern basis. The Harcourt Group also controls the firm that operates the Titanic Belfast centre, where pre-tax profits last year topped €1m.

The numbers visiting totalled 1.45m in its first two years since it opened in March 2012 and recently filed accounts show pre-tax profits at Titanic Belfast Ltd last year fell 58% to £1m after it stellar first year in operation.

A total of 800,000 people visited the attraction in its first year resulting in pre-tax profits of £2.5m on revenues of £13.6m.

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