herald

Thursday 18 September 2014

Losses soar at Bono's Clarence Hotel

BANDMATES Bono and The Edge still haven't found a profit at their upmarket Dublin hotel.

Losses continued to mount last year at the Clarence Hotel in Dublin's Temple Bar, which is owned by the U2 pair.

New accounts show pre-tax losses rose by more than 50pc to €1.64m from €1m in 2008.

This followed the hotel recording a pre-tax loss of €237,293 in 2007. The last year in which the hotel made a profit was in 2006, when its operating profits totalled €148,800.

The accounts lodged by the 48-room hotel show that last year its turnover dropped by 34pc from €5.2m to €3.3m.

The losses recorded last year put the company's accumulated losses at €2.5m at the end of December last year. The accounts are personally signed off by Bono and The Edge.

Other listed shareholders include financier Derek Quinlan and developer Paddy McKillen, and the returns show that the shareholders have advanced interest free loans to the business totalling €1m in the past two years.

The directors' report states that "the company has continued to experience challenging trading conditions in the year under review".

The latest figures also showed that numbers employed by the hotel dropped by 21pc from 98 to 71 last year. This resulted in staff costs being reduced from €2.7m to €2.2m.





Celebrities

The directors' report states that Bono and The Edge, who bought the hotel in 1992, "plan to take the necessary measures to improve operating performance through cost efficiencies as well as continued focus on marketing".

Two years ago, Bono and The Edge secured planning permission for a €150m extension to the hotel. However this is now "on hold".

The Clarence has attracted many celebrities over the years. Earlier this year, singer Rihanna, who was in Dublin to play a sold- out oncert, delighted fans when she stopped for photos outside the hotel where she was staying.

Figures show that nearly 200,000 fewer British visitors came here in the first quarter of the year than in 2009, a drop of 27pc, while there were 122,000, or 25pc, fewer European visitors.

fdillon@herald.ie

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