Dalata Hotel Group has confirmed that seven hotel openings are on course for the next year, but the Maldron hotel in Birmingham will not be among them.
In a trading update, chief executive designate Dermot Crowley (pictured, right) said the group was set to open its first hotel in Glasgow, a 300-bedroom Maldron-branded property, next month. He also said the group will open a further six hotels in Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow and Dublin between November this year and May next year. It has a pipeline of close to 3,000 rooms over the next three years and plans to expand this further in the coming months.
However, the previously announced plans for a Maldron hotel in Birmingham will not now be proceeding as the developer "encountered difficulties in relation to the site".
The Irish hotel operator, which has a growing presence in the UK, said trade improved in the second quarter as non-essential customers were allowed to return to hotels on 17 May (England and Wales), 24 May (Northern Ireland) and 2 June (Republic of Ireland). Occupancies for the second quarter were 24% in Dublin, 32% in regional Ireland and 30% in the UK.
It said it expected to be close to break-even at adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the first six months of 2021 following "better than expected" trading, and although lead time on bookings remained short, forward bookings continued to improve.
Occupancies for June were 37% in Dublin, 60% in regional Ireland and 44% in the UK. It said demand for its London hotels in the summer months was expected to be ahead of 2020 but still "significantly below" 2019, with the return of international travel necessary for occupancies to recover more substantially.
The group also reported cash and undrawn debt facilities of €267m (£228m) and cash outflow of €27 (£23m) since the end of December.
Crowley said: "Despite the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, we continue to focus on protecting what is critical to Dalata's long-term success. Our people are enthusiastic and engaged, our balance sheet and financial position remain robust, we have maintained communications with our customers, and we have strong partnerships with the institutional landlords who are fundamental to our growth strategy…
"I am confident that with our proven track record, well-invested portfolio, strong balance sheet and team of talented people, we will continue to drive long-term success for all of our stakeholders. I am excited about the future for Dalata as we emerge from Covid-19."
Dalata was founded in August 2007 and has 29 owned hotels, 12 leased hotels and three management contracts with a total of 9,261 bedrooms. For the full year 2020, Dalata reported revenue of €136.8m (£117m) and a loss after tax of €100.7m (£86.1m). It was announced earlier this year that founder Pat McCann (pictured, left) will step down as chief executive with Crowley appointed his successor.