Niall Rochford, managing director at Ashford Castle said: “The Covid-19 bounce to business from 2022 has continued into 2023,” he said on Wednesday.
Mr Rochford stated that 2023 “Will be a very strong year building on the success of 2022 with an increase in revenues but the challenge is the cost base in terms of food and energy costs” in an interview regarding Ashford Castle Hotel Ltd.'s new 2022 accounts.
Based on the updated financial statements, the hotel company generated pre-tax profits of €19.33 million last year as revenues more than doubled. A pre-tax loss of €3.06 million in 2022 was followed by a pre-tax profit of €19.33 million in 2023.
In accordance with the updated financial statements submitted by Ashford Castle Hotel Ltd, the hotel's pre-tax profits returned last year as revenues increased by 117%, from €12.5 million to €27.1 million.
The non-cash reversal of a property impairment of €17.6 million increased the hotel company's pre-tax profits.
The company made operating profits of €20.46 million, but interest payments of €1.13 million brought profits down to €19.33 million before taxes.
The directors claim that “improving market conditions and the return of international travel” are to blame for the year's overall results.
The company “expects the continued trading improvements in the market to continue in 2023 and has seen an uplift,” based on their statement. The company's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA), according to the directors, came to €7.68 million in 2017.
As stated by Mr. Rochford, there was a significant rebound from the US market last year, with US travellers now accounting for 60% of bed nights.
He said: “We now have product in Ireland that has established the nation as a leader in ultra-luxury and is a preferred destination for ultra-luxury for US travellers.”
The Red Carnation-owned hotel's US business, according to Mr. Rochford, “is now year-round, just like our Irish business.”
Irish visitors who stayed at the hotel during Covid, when there were travel restrictions in place, have remained loyal, according to Mr. Rochford, and the hotel is benefiting from their return business.
Mr. Rochford stated, “We are cautious about 2024 - we won't see the same percentage increase as last year.”
The €4.8 million in non-cash depreciation costs from the prior year are included in the profit. While staff costs increased from €7.53 million to €8.43 million last year, there were 264 more people employed.
The Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) paid the hotel company €950,222 in 2018, compared to €4.88 million under the same scheme in 2021. Cash funds increased from €4.85 million to €6.09 million in the previous year.