Tullymore House sees turnover soar 21 per cent after £11m spa investment at Galgorm

Pictured at the official opening of the Galgorm Resort & Spa was Terence Brannigan, (left),chair of Tourism NI, with managing director Paul Smyth
Gail Bell

THE owners of the Galgorm Resort & Spa in Ballymena saw turnover soar by 21 per cent to £15.8 million last year.

Tullymore House Ltd, which also runs Bedford Hotel Limited and Fratelli's Italian restaurant in Belfast, reported a "strong" financial performance for the year to October.

And profit before tax and exceptional items also rose from £2,753,254 in 2014 to £2,902,419, while shareholder funds increased by £1,026,329 to £10,842, 958.

Gross profit at the company rose to £6,556,429 in 2015, compared to £5,629,249 reported the previous year.

Directors said the group performed "satisfactorily" against trading performance targets, with the strategic objective continuing to be focused on the growth of Galgorm Manor Hotel Ltd, along with the redevelopment of the Bedford Hotel in Belfast city centre.

Capital investment during the period at the Galgorm complex included completion of a "significant 18-month investment project" which included the building of 48 new deluxe rooms and thermal spa area, outdoor spa village and auxiliary facilities.

Long-term strategic objectives were listed as: 'Being a leading employer recognised for staff learning and development; 'Maximising return on investment to shareholders'; and 'Growing and strengthening brand awareness'.

"The strategic objective of Bedford Hotel Limited is to continue with the redevelopment of the existing property into hotel, restaurant and bar facilities," the directors said.

"The strategic objective of Frateilli (Belfast) is to focus on growing and strengthening brand awareness."

The Galgorm resort officially launched its new £11 million expansion in September last year - an investment featuring a unique thermal spa village described as the first of its kind in Britain and Ireland.

The redevelopment created 80 new jobs, bringing the total workforce at the hotel to nearly 400.

Alongside an innovative 'snow cabin', the main highlights included celtic sauna, riverside steam room, log-fired outdoor tubs and indoor pool with heated sun loungers, all designed to complement the existing offering of hydrotherapy pool, ice fountain, sauna and outdoor jacuzzi pool.

Around the same time, Tullymore House Group announced it was developing the Bedford Hotel in a £12.5 million project at the Scottish Mutual Building in Belfast.

The group had also added to its growing portfolio with the 2014 opening of a second Fratelli Restaurant - the original is based at the Galgorm resort - in Great Victoria Street, Belfast, in a £500,000 investment which created 35 new jobs.

According to the accounts, Tullymore House Ltd employed 383 staff in the last year, including 348 production staff and 35 at management level.

As a result of the extra employees, the salaries and wages bill rose from £4.8m to £6.3m.

Pay for the company's three directors - Karen Dundee (44), Norman Evans (62) and Frank McCartan (65) - rose from £90,002 in 2014 to £155,167 last year.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access