Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland hotel chain enjoys 36% increase in pre-tax profit

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland family hotel chain McKeever Group has reported a 36% jump in pre-tax profits to almost £1m.

The company, which owns three hotels in Co Antrim and one in Co Donegal, also reported a 7% increase in turnover to £8.2m in the year to the end of September 2016.

But a strategic report filed with the accounts said economic instability was a concern due to its knock-on effect on corporate sales.

The business was founded by Eugene and Catherine McKeever, beginning with the purchase of Corr's Corner Hotel in Newtownabbey in 1993.

It now also owns the Dunsilly Hotel in Antrim and Adair Arms in Ballymena, as well as Dillon's Hotel in Letterkenny, which it has refurbished after taking over in 2014.

Pre-tax profits reached £993,000 - up more than a third on the previous year's £728,000.

And capital expenditure amounted to £549,000 - down from £1m the year before, during the refurbishment of Dillons Hotel.

But currency rate fluctuations led to a 'foreign currency translation' cost of £40,043.

Eddie McKeever, operations director, said: "We are delighted with the latest published accounts, which are showing a healthy increase in pre-tax profits.

"This is mainly due to Dillons Hotel in Letterkenny having a strong trading year following the extensive refurbishment programme.

"We have great teams at each hotel and hope to continue growth within the Group with a continued focus on product and service."

Job numbers also grew, from 200 to 233.

A strategic report filed with the accounts said directors were satisfied with the results, adding: "Cost control remains a focus for management heading into the next financial year."

Key risks were "the continuing instability of the economy, in particular the local economy, which affects the corporate sales market".

It said there was now increased competition from a growing number of hotel bedrooms in Belfast.

And profit margins were also being squeezed from a rise in costs in energy and food, and an inability to pass on price increases to customers.

But plans were constantly made to mitigate the risks. "These plans include diversifying by growing the accommodation, conference and banqueting business."

Belfast Telegraph

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