Clayton and Maldron hotel owners herald success of Northern Ireland properties

Computer-generated image of how the new Maldron Hotel in Brunswick Street will look when it opens in spring next year

IRELAND'S largest hotel operator Dalata Group, which owns the Clayton and Maldron brands in the north, has reported a near-third rise in its sales to €290.6 million (£248.2m) in the 2016 calendar year.

Its pre-tax profits also soared by 55 per cent to €44.1m (£37.7m), which was ahead of expectations.

And Dalata - which was admitted to the main market listings of the Irish Stock Exchange and London Stock Exchange during the year - said its prospects "remain positive for all the markets we operate in".

The company has three properties in the north - the Clayton Hotel, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast; the Maldron Hotel in Derry, and the Dalata-managed Maldron Hotel at Belfast International Airport.

Dalata's deputy chief executive Dermot Crowley said: "We are very happy with the performance of our three hotels in Northern Ireland.

"The Clayton Hotel in Belfast traded particularly strongly in the second half of 2016, while the Maldron Hotels in Derry and Belfast International Airport performed consistently well."

He added: "Progress in our Northern Ireland portfolio continues with the completion of the new 206-room Maldron Hotel in Belfast's Brunswick Street, which is expected to open in late April/early May 2018."

The Dalata Group spent just over €150m (£128m) acquiring seven hotels and entering agreements to lease properties during 2016.

It also spent €25.4m (£21.7m) in hotel redevelopment and refurbishment during the year, including the refurbishment of 748 bedrooms.

It said that revenues per average room (revpar) in 2016 increased by 14.9 per cent to €80.20 (£68.50) from €69.80 (£59.60) while occupancy rose to 82.1 per cent from 80.2 per cent.

Group chief executive Pat McCann said: "We added seven hotels and about 1,600 rooms to the business last year and we have also locked in a growth pipeline of 1,200 new hotel rooms which will come into operation during 2018."

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