Merrion Hotel losses narrow as pandemic ebbs

Five-star facility in Dublin’s south city centre looks to return to profit as room rates rebound

The five-star Merrion Hotel in Dublin is eyeing a return to pretax profit this year after two loss-making, pandemic-hit years.

New accounts show that Hotel Merrion Ltd recorded pretax losses of €572,573 in the 12 months to the end of October last year due to the Covid-19 impact on the business.

The directors said the business was adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic due to Government restrictions “for almost six months of the year”. Hotels in the Republic did not reopen until June 2nd of last year after shutting in December due to pandemic restrictions.

Overall, pretax losses narrowed by 86 per cent on the €4.06 million recorded in the prior year.


Accommodation revenues

While revenue reduced by 44 per cent from €17.5 million to €9.85 million, the comparison was skewed by about €6.3 million in apartment sales recorded in 2020.

The hotel’s accommodation revenues fell by 17 per cent to €4.5 million while food and beverage revenues declined by 10 per cent from €4.89 million to €4.38 million.

The accommodation revenues amounted to less than one-third of pre-pandemic levels. Before the pandemic, food and beverage revenue topped €8.6 million.

While the business last year recorded an operating profit of €125,066, interest payments of €697,639 pushed it into a loss.

Travel restrictions

In their report, the directors said “the demand for future bookings is strong and we maintain market share”. They added that “we believe that we can recover revenue streams and regain profitability as global travel restrictions ease”.

Room rates have rebounded since the worst of the pandemic passed, with advertised online room and suite rates for Sunday, October 2nd, ranging from €495 to €1,950.

The multi-award-winning hotel comprises 123 rooms and 19 suites and is co-owned between the Northern Hastings Hotel group, Martin Naughton and, until last year, Lochlann Quinn.

During the year, Mr Quinn transferred his 25 per cent shareholding in the business to be divided equally among his six children, Oisin, Conal, Daragh, Lochlann jnr, Alison and Sarah.

Lochlann Quinn remains a director of the business.

Numbers employed at the business last year rebounded from 206 to 336, though staff costs reduced from €6.05 million to €3.12 million. Directors’ pay was static at €120,000.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times