DUBLIN: Pre-tax profits at one of the Dublin hotels owned by US billionaire John Malone last year rose 76% to €2.3m.
New accounts lodged by Charlemont Leisure Ltd, which operates the Hilton Hotel on the Grand Canal, show that the hotel enjoyed the profit jump after its gross profit increased by 44% from €7.129m to €10.27m last year.
The 2015 performance is even more impressive as the previous period covered 13 and a half months from November 13 in 2013 to the end of December 2014. Along with the Hilton, Mr Malone also owns the five- star Intercontinental hotel in Ballsbridge and the five-star Westin hotel, College Green.
His Liberty Global international media firm owns TV3 and Virgin Media here and is awaiting regulatory approval for its purchase of UTV Ireland. He also recently added the Spencer, Morgan, and Beacon hotels to his growing portfolio.
Taking advantage of soaring room rates and room demand in the Dublin area, Mr Malone’s firm has filed a planning application to add a seven-storey, 97-bedroom extension to the Hilton Hotel to An Bord Pleanála. In July, Dublin City Council gave Mr Malone’s Charlemont Leisure the go-ahead for the plan.
That will mean the Hilton Dublin City Hotel will have 305 bedrooms if the extension project gets final approval from all the planning authorities. Mr Malone is reputed to be the largest landowner in the US. He purchased the Hilton Hotel for around €30m in 2014.
However, appeals have been lodged to An Bord Pleanála by Harcourt Green Management Ltd and Alvin Price. A decision is expected by the appeals board at the end of this month. Underlining the demand for hotel rooms, a recent report from the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation showed there was a requirement for 30 additional hotels, providing 5,000 more rooms, in the capital by 2021.
According to a report attached to the Hilton accounts, the directors state that the hotel has traded well in the financial year and that the directors “are confident in the hotel’s prospects”. Numbers employed by the company last year decreased from 96 to 92. Staff costs, meantime, rose sharply from €2m to €2.76m.
The profit takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €808,503. The firm’s corporation tax bill totalled €492,512, including a €372,508 payment of tax in 2015 and an underprovision of €120,004 in the previous year. Profits after tax came out at €1.83m. Including €3m in accumulated profits, shareholder funds at the hotel firm last year topped €21.45m. The firm’s cash during the year increased from €2.97m to €3.4m.