Belfast Telegraph

Company Snapshot: Galgorm Manor Hotel Ltd

By John Simpson

Galgorm Manor has expanded in recent years after a considerable programme of new investment and modernisation.

This major complex near Ballymena would rank amongst the eight largest locally-owned hotel and restaurant companies when measured by turnover.

The hotel, with its range of supporting facilities, is the main trading subsidiary of the Tollymore House Group, and has been assisted in its development through inter-company lending. Only in the last two years has Galgorm expanded to the size that requires its annual accounts to declare its annual turnover, which in 2009 was £8.2m — up 13% from the previous year. Turnover and profit before tax exceeded the planned budgets ‘despite difficult trading’ in the hospitality industry.

The hotel was assisted by a switch in sales activity to build on core market segments and additional leisure markets to offset a decline in the volume of conference business. It reports a 66% room-occupancy rate in 2009, 10% higher than 2008.

The company aspires to become accredited through Investors in People and believes its training programme is helping to increase profits through cost control and resource efficiency. The profit record increased sharply in the last three years, with profit in 2009 treble that in 2007.

The financing arrangements for borrowed funds meant the hotel has paid significant sums as interest payments (or their equivalence) costing over £0.4m in 2009.

After deduction of net interest payments pre-tax profits have improved in step with operating profits. In 2007 the hotel completed the largest part of an investment programme which cost £9.6m that year. Smaller annual capital spending was reported in 2008 and 2009. In 2009, pre-tax profit was the

equivalent of 19% of turnover, ranking it high compared to other local hotels.

In 2007 and 2008 the hotel retained post-tax profits in its balance sheet but a £1.5m payout to shareholders in 2009 marked a fall in their funds from £1.7m in October 2008 to £1.4m a year later. In 2009 the hotel employed around 245 people.

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