Dalata Hotel Group will hold its AGM today (Wednesday April 29) at 11.30am at its offices in the Dublin suburb of Sandyford.
Ahead of the meeting, the group has released a statement that its chairman, John Hennessy, will make at the event.
The statement reads, "In 2019, we delivered another strong financial performance in terms of earnings growth and cash generation, and ended the year with a very strong balance sheet. We also demonstrated our resilience and ability to overcome challenges, which is very important now as we face the very considerable challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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"The sudden onset of COVID-19 has had a very significant impact on our business. For the first quarter of 2020, RevPAR [revenue per available room] on a 'like for like' basis decreased by 24.3% at our Dublin hotels, 14.0% at our regional Ireland hotels and 18.6% at our UK hotels. Adjusted EBITDA [earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation] for the first quarter of 2020 was €17.7 million. These figures include two months of normal trading before the effects of the global pandemic were first felt in our business. Our results for subsequent periods will reflect the fact that currently our hotels are either temporarily closed or operating at significantly reduced capacities in line with guidelines issued by the Irish and UK governments."
An "Uncertain" Outlook
Hennessy continued, "It is not yet known when the current restrictions on travel and movement will be lifted in Ireland and the UK. The outlook for the remainder of the year remains uncertain as a result.
"To date, we have implemented several measures to mitigate the financial consequences of the impact of COVID-19 and to maintain our strong liquidity. We announced last week that we have agreed the sale and leaseback of Clayton Hotel Charlemont in Dublin to Deka Immobilien for a consideration of €65 million. This transaction, which we completed on 24 April, strengthens our considerable cash resources during the current COVID-19 crisis and ensures that financially we are in a strong position to trade through the crisis. We have significant financial headroom and will be in compliance with covenants in June 2020."
"Coping Very Well"
Hennessy added, "The essence of the business of Dalata is the development, acquisition and operation of hotels. The current situation has caused large parts of that business to be shut down for the moment. This is a very challenging set of circumstances for the entire Dalata team.
"I am pleased, therefore, to be able to reassure shareholders that our people are coping very well with this unprecedented situation. We have a strong management team that has a proven track record of dealing with major shocks and challenges over the last 20 years, and they are working hard to navigate our business through these difficult times. Our exceptional culture is showing through in the dedication of our teams and the manner in which they are supporting each other and responding to the needs of the communities in which they operate. We are keeping in close touch with the members of our teams whom we cannot employ at present, with a view to re-engaging them as soon as we can."
© 2020 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.