Dalata Hotel Group has announced that chief executive Pat McCann (pictured left) will be stepping down, having held the role since founding the company in 2007.
Deputy chief executive Dermot Crowley (pictured right), who has been with the group since 2012, was the unanimous decision to succeed McCann.
The announcement came alongside the filing of the group's 2020 financial results, in which it reported a 68.1% drop in revenue to €136.8m (£118.4m) and a pre-tax loss of €111.5m (£96.5m), down 224.3%.
The group continues to progress its development pipeline, including five properties in the UK, which are scheduled to open between Q3 2021 and Q2 2022 and, when completed, the group will have almost doubled its rooms.
The group had cash and undrawn committed debt facilities of €290m (£251m) at the end of February and last year raised €92m (£80m) in equity from new and existing shareholders.
Since the start of 2021, all Dalata's hotels remain operational providing accommodation to front line workers, essential workers and those requiring quarantine.
John Hennessy, Dalata chairman, said: "Pat has been instrumental in growing Dalata, and its Clayton and Maldron brands, into a leading player in the hotel sector in Ireland and the UK. Having founded the business in 2007, he has successfully transformed Dalata, creating a listed business comprising 44 hotels, 9,261 bedrooms and a pipeline of 13 new hotels with 3,300 rooms. His leadership and his ability to engage our people has been critical to that success. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to work alongside him since the group's listing in 2014, and on behalf of the board and the entire Dalata team, I would like to offer my sincere thanks to Pat and to wish him every success in the future.
"I am delighted that Dermot Crowley will succeed Pat as chief executive. The board is confident that Dermot is the right person to lead Dalata in the period ahead. He has a proven track record, having played a key role in the development of the business since 2012. Dermot started working with Pat over 20 years ago. He has a clear commitment to continue to grow the business and to maintain the wonderful culture that exists in Dalata today. The board looks forward to working with Dermot in his new role."
Crowley said: "I am honoured to have been chosen by the board to succeed Pat as chief executive. I am very excited about leading the great team that we have in Dalata as we continue to expand the group across the UK and Ireland.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pat for his guidance and support over the period that we have worked together. I am very proud of what we and the Dalata team have achieved over the last number of years. I wish Pat the very best for the future."
McCann added: "It has been a privilege to lead Dalata. I am immensely proud of everything we have achieved but most of all, I am proud of our people, who continue to demonstrate dedication and resilience, in what has been a difficult year for many of them. I have watched them grow into very skilled and really wonderful people.
"I thank the board for their support over the years and wish Dermot every success in his role as chief executive, which I have no doubt he will excel in."
Regarding the group's financial results, he added: "We are all ready for the challenges and opportunities that 2021 may bring and look forward to the year ahead with energy and enthusiasm. Dalata is unbowed and unbroken."
The group's portfolio consists of 29 owned hotels, 12 leased hotels and three management contracts with a total of 9,261 bedrooms across the UK and Ireland. In addition, 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. This will bring the total number of bedrooms to more than 12,500.