Dalata Hotel Group has reported higher revenues and pre-tax profits for the six months to the end of June as it remains positive about its ability to exploit opportunities in the UK.

The owner of the Maldron and Clayton hotel chains said its revenues rose by 12.2% to €201.9m, while its pre-tax profits increased by 6.7% to €37.8m.

Shares in the company moved higher in Dublin trade today. 

Like for like revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased 0.7% to €87.62 in the six month period.

Dalata said that RevPAR at its Dublin hotels in July and August was behind last year due to several factors, including a weaker calendar of events compared to 2018 and the ongoing impact of the VAT increase.

It also said that trading around the country was also behind last year in July and August due to the more
significant impact of the VAT increase on domestic leisure demand there.

But it added that the outlook for the rest of the year looks positive for its Irish operations with a stronger calendar of events and the return of corporate guests after the summer period. 

"Some of our Dublin hotels are forecasting September to deliver the highest ever monthly room revenue for their properties," Dalata added.

Meanwhile, Dalata said that trade at its UK hotels was very strong in both July and August and ahead of expectations. 

"Despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the timing and nature of Brexit, the outlook for the balance of the year looks positive," the company added.

The company has proposed an interim dividend of 3.5 cent per share, an increase of 16.7% on the same time last year.

Dalata said the 1,400 new rooms which opened in the last 18 months in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Belfast, Newcastle and London were performing very well. 

It also said it continues to build an "attractive pipeline" of rooms in large cities such as Dublin, Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham and London.

Dalata's Pat McCann and Dermot Crowley

The company announced today that it had bought acquired a site in London with planning approval for a new hotel. The new Maldron hotel will have between 130 to 140 rooms and is expected to open in early 2022. 

Dalata chief executive Pat McCann said the company remains "very ambitious" and will continue to grow in 2019 and beyond. 

"Our pipeline of circa 2,400 rooms will open at various stages from 2020 to 2022. Our UK growth strategy continues at pace. The development of the six new hotels located in the centre of Bristol, Birmingham, Glasgow (2) and Manchester (2) is progressing well," the CEO said.

Mr McCann said that despite the challenges of a significant increase in the VAT rate in Ireland and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the timing and nature of Brexit, 2019 to date, as a whole has been another very successful year. 

"The outlook for the balance of the year looks very positive. We are currently looking at a number of exciting opportunities in the UK and Ireland and we expect to announce further additions before the end of the year," he added.