Belfast Telegraph

McKeevers announce big spend on Dunadry Hotel as profits hit £1.45m

Delighted: Eugene McKeever
Delighted: Eugene McKeever
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Family-run hotel firm McKeever Group has announced a major investment in the Dunadry Hotel in Antrim as it reports pre-tax profits of £1.45m.

The group, which owns a total of five venues, said it wants to transform the Dunadry into a four-star business and leisure destination.

And it plans to create 20-plus new jobs as part of the work, adding to its existing workforce of 278.

McKeever Group acquired the venue last year from former owners Mooney Group.

The McKeever family also owns Corrs Corner Hotel in Newtownabbey, Dunsilly Hotel in Antrim and the Adair Arms in Ballymena.

It also runs Dillons Hotel in Letterkenny, which it acquired four years ago.

The announcement comes as the firm's annual accounts revealed pre-tax profits of £1.45m for the 12 months to the end of September - up 46% from £992,720 a year before.

Its turnover also rose 19% from £8.2m to £9.7m.

Economic development agency Invest NI has offered the business over £740,000 towards the redevelopment of the Dunadry's 80 bedrooms.

The work is due to be finished by June 2019 in time for The Open golf championship, which is taking place at Royal Portrush.

Conference and event spaces along with the bistro restaurant have already been refurbished as part of the renovation works at the hotel.

Managing director Eugene McKeever said: "Revitalising this majestic hotel is an exciting process and we are delighted with the progress and results so far in the public and event spaces.

"Invest NI's assistance is helping us to realise the full commercial potential of the Dunadry.

"Upgrading all accommodation facilities will enhance our product offering and help us to meet the needs of international tourists who visit Northern Ireland each year."

Invest NI director Jeremy Fitch said the venue was a "historic" hotel. It was once the location of both paper and linen mills.

He added: "Its renovation to four-star status with upgraded event facilities will be a significant asset to the Antrim and Newtownabbey area."

A strategic report filed with the accounts of McKeever Hotels Ltd said the directors were "satisfied" with the results.

"Cost control remains a focus for management heading into the next financial year," it said.

But the report added that there were concerns, including increase in competition from new hotel rooms in Belfast, as well as the continued instability of the economy.

In particular, the uncertainty of Northern Ireland's economy had an impact on corporate sales, it said. In addition, there had been a rise in costs such as food and energy over the year to September 2017.

Belfast Telegraph