Tribute paid to Sir Billy as results filed for seven-strong hotel group
Northern Ireland hotel group Hastings has reported a slight increase in pre-tax profits from £4.9m to £5.2m for 2017.
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Turnover at the company, which last month unveiled its latest property, the £53m Grand Central, was also up from £36.8m to £39.6m. It has 1,106 staff.
In a strategic report accompanying the results for the year to October 2017, the directors said performance was "satisfactory".
However, the growth was tinged with sadness as the report commented on the death of company founder Sir Billy Hastings in December.
The report says: "Sir William almost single-handedly built up the group from the 1960s to what it is today. The group was his life and he is sorely missed by directors and staff."
The group consists of Belfast's Europa, Stormont, Culloden and Grand Central hotels, as well as Londonderry's Everglades, Larne's Ballygally and Newcastle's Slieve Donard. It also owns a 50% stake in Dublin's luxury Merrion Hotel.
The report points to competition and employee retention as performance risks.