Dromoland Castle Group Loses Estimated €400k In Christmas Party Income
As reported by The Irish Times, five-star hotel Dromoland Castle and a sister property have lost out on an estimated €400,000 in Christmas party income in recent days.
Dromoland's chief financial officer Joe Hughes reportedly said the Christmas party cancellations for the hotel and the neighbouring The Inn at Dromoland were sparked by the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and comments made by chief medical officer (CMO) Dr Tony Holohan this week.
Dr Holohan reportedly said cancelling social plans in the run up to Christmas was the responsible thing to do.
"Prior to the CMO's comments, some companies had already cancelled their proposed gatherings, but the formal announcement crystallised smaller party group cancellations within 24 hours," Mr Hughes reportedly said.
He reportedly said that "the estimated total revenue shortfall would be around €400,000 across both hotels", reportedly adding that around €250,000 of the cancellations had been made since Dr Holohan commented on Christmas parties earlier this week.
"Many of our colleagues in the industry are seeing substantial levels of Christmas party cancellations in the aftermath of the CMO’s announcement," Mr Hughes reportedly said.
Dromoland Castle's Christmas residential packages for this year were booked out, Mr Hughes reportedly added.
Accounts for 2020 for Dromoland Castle and The Inn at Dromoland reportedly show the two hotels last year sustained a €15.7 million or 68.5 percent revenue hit due to COVID-19 shutdowns.
Revenues at Dromoland Castle Holdings Ltd reportedly fell from €23 million to €7.23 million in 2020, while the company reportedly recorded a pretax loss of €3.3 million due to the pandemic.
The loss reportedly takes account of non-cash deprecation costs of €2.08 million and interest charges of €409,610.
The hotel company reportedly last year received €2.29 million in State COVID-19 wage subsidy scheme payments.
Revenues from rooms reportedly declined from €11.74 million to €2.87 million and food and drink revenues reportedly fell from €8.9 million to €3 million.
Mark Nolan, general manager at Dromoland Castle, reportedly said that the hotel "had a cliff fall off in revenues last year due to the pandemic".
However, Mr Nolan reportedly said that the biggest challenge in 2022 would be managing demand.
Mr Nolan reportedly said that 2022 "looks very good - it looks too good in spots. At the moment July is at 73 percent occupancy already. It will churn, things will come off and come on."
On the 2021 performance at Dromoland, Mr Hughes reportedly said, "We have performed above expectations."
He reportedly said that last year "we were looking into the abyss, but right now, the road looks a lot better than it was 18 months ago".
Mr Nolan reportedly said Dromoland had raised €5.3 million through issuing shares.
"A Helluva Difference"
"They were over-subscribed which really made a helluva difference to us from a cash point of view. It hugely strengthened our balance sheet and we were very strongly positioned coming into the year with an extra €3 million in cash," he reportedly said.
"Whatever blips there were this year, we were in a good position to see them out."
At the end of December last, the company reportedly had shareholder funds of €19.8 million.
Numbers employed last year reportedly reduced from 401 to 179 and staff costs reportedly reduced from €9.66 million to €5.6 million.
© 2021 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.