Irish hotel operator Dalata has reported a 60% drop in revenue in its financial results for the first half of the year, with reported revenue of €80.8m (£71.9m) and loss before tax of €70.9m (£63.1m).
Although 2020 started positively with encouraging trading in January and February, record low occupancies followed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
All the group's hotels have reopened with an average occupancy of 30% for July, projected to be around 40% for August, and while the group said bookings from domestic guests are "encouraging", the outlook for international travel returning to more normal levels remains uncertain.
Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation or amortisation (EBITDA) is expected to be in the range of €7m to €7.5m (£6.2m to £6.7m) for July and August.
Dalata also announced it has signed lease agreements for two new Maldron hotels in Brighton and Manchester.
The group turned to a share placing to ensure it can "take advantage of market opportunities" particularly in the UK, strengthen its balance sheet, and enable the commencement of the development of Maldron Hotel Shoreditch in London (pictured), raising €94.4m (£84.1m).
The group said its growth strategy remains focused on London and larger regional UK cities, including a pipeline of seven hotels already under construction with two in Ireland and five in the UK, all of which will open between the first quarters of 2021 and 2022. 10 development projects including extensions are currently at the pre-construction phase.
Dalata had cash resources of approximately €110m (£97.9m) and undrawn facilities of €111m (£98.8m) at the end of August.
Pat McCann, chief executive of Dalata, said hotels in regional Ireland and regional UK performed better than those in Dublin and London, which depend more on international travel and events.
He welcomed the recent stimulus packages announced by the Irish and UK governments and the six month waiver granted on commercial rates, but called for this to be extended for hospitality businesses until 31 March 2021 to support operators through the quieter winter period.
He said: "While the future remains uncertain, I am encouraged by the positive demand drivers in the markets in which Dalata operates."
Dalata Hotel Group was founded in August 2007 and has a portfolio of 29 owned hotels, 12 leased hotels and three management contracts with a total of 9,211 bedrooms. In addition to this, the group is developing 13 new hotels and has plans to extend four of its existing hotels, adding close to 3,300 bedrooms in total.