Irish hotel operator Dalata Hotel Group plc has welcomed “faster than anticipated” recovery in the hotel markets over the last four months, and now expects revenue to be 18% ahead of 2019 levels for the May/June period.
In its latest trading update ahead of its Q2 results, the group said it continued to experience strong trade in the UK as well as Regional Ireland, where Dalata’s RevPAR for the May/June period is expected to be 7% and 27% ahead of 2019 levels, respectively. It previously announced that RevPAR was 9% ahead of 2019 levels for the March/April period.
Its recovery in Dublin has been “especially strong” due to a combination of significant demand and reduced supply in the market. The group said demand in the city has largely returned across all segments, led by “very strong” leisure demand around event dates and weekends. RevPAR in Dublin is also expected to be 18% ahead in May/June against the same period in 2019.
Meanwhile, Dalata announced the completion of the sale of the Clayton Crown Hotel, London to a company controlled by AG Hotels Group for approximately £21m. The group also expects to conclude the sale of the Merrion Road residential units to Irish Residential Properties REIT plc for €42m (£36m) in the coming weeks.
Dermot Crowley, CEO of Dalata, said: “I am very pleased with the manner in which demand has recovered across our markets since Covid restrictions were lifted earlier in the year. Our teams in our hotels and Central Office have responded incredibly well to the swift recovery.
“Our focus on the development of our people and our strategy of keeping our core teams in place throughout the pandemic is underpinning our ability to fully operate our hotels despite the backdrop of a tight labour market. Our new hotels are also trading very well and we look forward to the opening of the Clayton Hotel Glasgow City and Maldron Hotel Merrion Road.”
He added: “I recognise concerns about rising hotel prices in Ireland. Our average room rate in Dublin for the second quarter of 2022 was €160. This is an increase of 20% over 2019 (on a like-for-like basis). Dublin’s highly competitive market is experiencing a period of exceptional pent-up post-pandemic demand at a time when supply is temporarily reduced as a direct consequence of the war in Ukraine.
“In June, our Dublin hotels are expected to reach an occupancy of 93%. Despite widespread cost inflation, we continue to honour longstanding agreed prices, including those in place for over 160,000 coach tour guests we are welcoming over this summer. We look forward to the balance of the year with confidence whilst being aware of the potential threats caused by the general economic outlook. We are excited by the potential of our recently opened hotels and by those in the pipeline. We have strong teams in place and we will be agile and innovative in responding to any challenges that may emerge.”