“Positive” outlook for the Denis O’Brien hotel after deficit 2020



The outlook for the four-star Ballynahinch Castle, owned by Denis O’Brien, County Galway is positive in light of upcoming bookings.

According to the latest accounts from Mr. O’Brien’s Yelsea Ltd, the hotel, since its reopening on June 2, 2021, following a forced closure of Covid-19, has “traded well in the domestic market” .

Accounts show that the impact of two Covid-19 closures last year contributed to an increase in pre-tax losses by 73.5% to 1.83 million euros. Turnover decreased by 48.5%, from 6.5 million euros to 3.3 million euros.

On the impact of Covid-19 on the hotel, which is located on a 700-acre estate in Recess in County Galway, the accounts said “there were two shutdowns imposed by government restrictions and despite these circumstances, when it was open, the hotel negotiated exceptionally well ”.

The directors of the company – including Mr O’Brien’s wife, Catherine – have expressed satisfaction with the performance of the company given the very difficult business conditions.

The loss before tax in 2020 takes into account non-cash depreciation charges of € 1.23 million and interest payable and other charges of € 624,935.

Accounts show the company received € 680,309 in government wage subsidy programs last year.


The accounts showed that the company had received € 320,920 in Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) payments and € 359,389 in Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) payments.

The note in the accounts indicated that “the company was entitled to these subsidies following the drop in income due to Covid-19”.

The number of hotel employees last year increased from 94 to 61, while staff costs rose from 3.12 million euros to 1.99 million euros.

Remuneration of directors reduced last year from € 503,775 to € 50,000. The 2019 directors’ compensation included € 360,000 paid to a former director for other severance payments.

The cumulative losses of the company at the end of 2020 amount to 4.93 million euros. The company’s cash flow amounts to € 597,428. Mr O’Brien paid around 6.5 million euros for Ballynahinch in 2013 and has extensively renovated the property.

The Ballynahinch company valued its fixed assets at 18 million euros at the end of 2020. It had bank loans of 4.7 million euros, and owed 17.3 million euros in loans and interest to an entity controlled by Mr. O’Brien.


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