Whitbread-owned Premier Inn is looking to add to its portfolio of Dublin hotels as revenues jump

UK hospitality group Whitbread will continue to scout for new hotels in Ireland after its Irish arm saw revenue rebound in its last financial year as Covid restrictions eased, according to newly-filed accounts for the business.

hitbread owns the Premier Inn chain and has three hotels in Dublin. One is located near Dublin Airport, while the other two are in the city centre.

Whitbread has previously indicated that it wants to have as many as 2,500 hotel rooms in Dublin.

Premier Inn operates a brand new 108-bedroom hotel at the junction of Gloucester Street and Princes Street on Dublin’s docklands that was constructed by Red Rock Developments.

That development was acquired last year by Aviva Investors on behalf of its European Real Estate Long Income Fund.

Premier Inn will also operate a new hotel being built in the Liberties area of the capital.

The Newmarket Yards scheme includes a 151-bedroom hotel and three retail units. It’s due to be completed this year.

Last year, Deka Immobilien Investment bought the hotel and retail units from Bain Capital. The scheme also includes 413 apartments.

Accounts just filed for the company behind the Premier Inn operation in Ireland show that revenue jumped to just over €4m in the 12 months to the beginning of March last year. That compared to €1.7m the year before.

It posted a €444,000 operating loss in the last financial period, which was down from the €851,000 loss it reported in the previous year.

Of its revenue in the latest financial year, €3.3m was generated from the sale of accommodation, and €693,000 from food and beverage sales.

The accounts note that “further acquisitions and openings” are planned in Ireland and add that the Whitbread group emerged from the pandemic “in a position of strength”.

“The group’s unique vertically integrated operating model gives it a sustainable platform to outperform in the structurally attractive markets in which it operates, built on its scale, brand strength, direct distribution and its leading customer offering,” the directors said.

They add: “The company will continue to operate hotels in Ireland. There is potential for further hotels in the future.”

Ireland’s biggest hotel operator, Dalata, said last month that it was trading ahead of expectations and that revenue for 2022 should exceed €500m – the highest ever for the group.

On a like-for-like basis, revenue per available room was 21pc of 2019 levels between September and November this year, with all regions performing well, according to Dalata.

It said corporate bookings have picked up following the summer and that there is continued strong leisure demand, with a notable increase in visitors from North America.

The company pointed out that room availability remained constrained due to the number of hotel properties around the country being used by the Government for emergency accommodation for refugees from Ukraine.

This week, Whitbread reported a strong performance for its third quarter. It is expanding in Germany, where it has 45 open hotels and a further 36 in the pipeline.

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