Record year for Belfast hotel group Andras House

Hotelier recorded a pre-tax profit of £8.8 million in 2021/22, new accounts show

The best known hotel in the Andras House portfolio, the Crowne Plaza.

NEW accounts for Belfast hotel group Andras House reveal last year was its best on record, with profit and revenue fully recovered from the pandemic.

The company, which has just under 1,000 rooms across seven hotels, including the Crowne Plaza in Belfast, had a turnover of £29.4 million in the 12 months to April 30 2022, almost four times the £7.75m it took in the previous year and £3.5m more than 2019.

Andras House, which also owns 170,000 sq ft of commercial property, is controlled by the 84-year-old Indian born and Belfast-based peer, Lord Rana.

The daily business is run by his son, former Belfast Chamber president, Rajesh Rana.

Its latest accounts, filed with Companies House, show it ended the 2021/22 financial year a profit before tax of £8.8m, which was £3.6m higher than 2019.

It followed a difficult 2020/21, where Covid-19 pushed the business into a pre-tax loss of £222,265.

The most recent accounts show the group faced a substantial tax bill of £4m in 2022, which still left it with a healthy bottom line profit for the year of £4.76m.

Staff numbers also recovered last year to 359, which was larger than its pre-pandemic workforce during 2019.

Established in 1981, Andras House opened its first hotel in 1990 and went on to become the north’s largest hotelier.

While the Crowne Plaza remains its best known venue, its portfolio also includes four hotels in Belfast city centre: Holiday Inn Express, Holiday Inn, Ibis and Hampton by Hilton. It also operates an Ibis hotel next to Queen’s University.

The group is expected to soon add the former Londonderry Hotel in Portrush to its portfolio.

Efforts by Andras House to revive the listed building became embroiled in a long running planning dispute with the Department for Infrastructure.

Last year, Rajesh Rana said the company believed it had reached a breakthrough following lengthy discussions with government planners.

In February 2022, Andras House lodged a new £10m heritage-led proposal to develop the former north coast hotel into an 87-bedroom venue.

A digitally rendered image of the plans proposed for the former Londonderry Hotel in Portrush.

The proposal also involves developing the nearby former Northern Bank building into serviced apartments.

The application was finally approved by John O'Dowd shortly before vacating his post as caretaker Infrastructure Minister in October 2022.

Andras House is hoping to complete the work in time for the return of the Open Championship to Portrush in 2025.

The group also has planning approval for a new aparthotel development in Belfast, with offices and cafes.

In all, Andras House said it has six live development projects.