herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Five-star profits as Merrion earns €1.4m in one year

Dublin's plush Merrion Hotel earned profits last year of €1.4m on revenues of €16.8m.

The five-star business generated the income - up 3.4pc on the previous period - in the 12 months to the end of last October.

With 140 rooms available to book, the Merrion received average revenues of €328 per room per night, if food and drink sales are also included.

Hotel Merrion, the company that operates the hotel, is co-owned by ESB chairman Lochlann Quinn - the father of former Lord Mayor Oisin Quinn - and billionaire businessman Martin Naughton.

Once interest charges on property loans were factored in, Merrion's parent firm, Landmark Investment Company, recorded an after-tax loss of €60,000. This was down from losses of €220,000 the previous year.

favourite

Mr Quinn and Mr Naughton own 50pc of the hotel, with the other half owned by the Hastings hotel group. It employs more than 270 staff.

The Merrion is a favourite destination of high-flying business travellers, among them the troika.

Whenever the international number crunchers were in town examining Ireland's finances, they always stayed at the hotel, which is located beside Government Buildings.

No doubt boosted by their visits, the Merrion recorded a pre-tax profit of €1.6m, in the 12 months to the end of October 2012, up 7pc.

During that period, revenues increased by 6pc from €15.32m to €16.25m. Almost €1m was invested in a revamp of the hotel last year, the figures show.

The building is valued at about €43m by its owners. Landmark has total debts of more than €59m, including €31.3m in bank loans.

"The group is in breach of its capital expenditure covenant specified in the loan agreement and, therefore, the bank has the right to call in the loan at any time," the accounts state.

However, as terms have been agreed to extend the loan to November 2016, "the directors do not believe the bank will enforce this", they add.

Work on an extension to the Merrion is to begin in January. It will involve the demolition of an office block and the construction of 20 new rooms over three floors.

Restaurant

A new hotel restaurant and an extension to Restaurant Patrick Guilbaud, the two-star Michelin restaurant in the hotel, will also be built.

In 2010, 16 International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials stayed for at least 10 days at the Merrion.

comurphy@herald.ie

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