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Donald Trump’s Scottish golf courses post losses although revenue increases

The US president has 17 golf operations around the world.

US President Donald Trump plays a round of golf on the Trump Turnberry resort in South Ayrshire,(Jane Barlow/PA)
US President Donald Trump plays a round of golf on the Trump Turnberry resort in South Ayrshire,(Jane Barlow/PA)

By Bernard Condon, Associated Press

President Donald Trump’s two golf resorts in Scotland posted another year of multi-million-pound losses as his properties contend with a struggling local economy and a backlash against his divisive rhetoric.

Mr Trump’s golf clubs on the North Sea and Irish Sea lost a combined £11.9 million last year, according to financial statements filed with Britain’s Companies House.

That comes on the heels of a string of annual losses that started before Mr Trump was president.

But there were signs of recovery, including an increase in revenue at both Scottish resorts.

The president has 17 golf operations around the world.

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US President Donald Trump on the course at Turnberry (Andrew Milligan/PA)

But unlike his licensing operations where he has sold his name for a fee, he has spent hundreds of millions to buy and improve the clubs, a bold bet that he can buck the industry trend of bankruptcy and losses.

The numbers from Scotland so far have not been encouraging.

At Mr Trump’s Turnberry resort in Ayrshire on the Irish Sea, which has hosted several British Opens, losses topped £10.8 million last year, triple the loss from a year earlier, though much of that came from a hit in foreign exchange.

Taking that out and one-time and non-cash costs, the club lost £210,000. Revenue jumped 20%.

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The sign for Trump International Golf Links at Trump Macleod House in Balmedie (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Mr Trump’s North Sea club in Aberdeenshire overlooking a stretch of dramatic dunes also posted losses, though much lower — £1.1 million.

Some in Scotland have praised Mr Trump for bringing in tourists and helping businesses in the North Sea club area.

But others have protested against his comments about Mexican immigrants and have accused of him of bullying tactics in trying to buy up land and of harming the local dunes with his course.

More recently, the club has drawn protests from environmental groups and others over plans to build 550 homes on the property in what would be the biggest construction project for the president’s company since he took office.

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Donald Trump views developments to his luxury golf resort during a visit to the Menie estate in Aberdeenshire (Danny Lawson/PA)

Residents sent thousands of letters to local politicians, raising the prospect of heavy traffic and crowded schools, though others have argued the homes could provide a boost to the economy.

Last month, a local government council approved the Trump club’s plan for expansion, a potentially big source of cash.

A marketing brochure says buyers should be prepared to pay as much as £1.3 million for the biggest homes.

PA

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