Dalata Hotel Group has swung to a pre-tax loss of €70.9m (£63m) in its latest half-year results, with revenue crashing by 60% to €80.8m (£72m) in the same period.
In addition, adjusted EBITDA plummeted 86.2% to €10.1m (£9m) in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
It comes as the group said that 2020 “started positively”, with “encouraging” trading in January and February, followed by record-low occupancies during lockdown.
Nonetheless, the group said it protected cash during the period through “proactive” cost reductions and working capital management, government support initiatives, the cancellation of its proposed dividend and the postponement of uncommitted capital expenditure.
Despite the crisis, the group said its financial position “remains robust” following amended cash facilities, which increased from €162m (£144.4m) in December 2019 to €175m (£156m) in June 2020.
In its latest trading update, the hotel group confirmed that it has signed agreements to lease two new hotels to be constructed in Brighton and Manchester, bringing its current pipeline to almost 3,300 new rooms.
A pipeline of seven hotels already under construction, including two sites in Ireland and five in the UK. The properties in question will open between Q1 2021 and Q1 2022.
Pat McCann, Dalata Group CEO, said: “I am delighted to welcome guests again to our hotels, all of which have now reopened to the public. The impact of the pandemic has been felt by all of the Dalata team since early March. However, I have been greatly heartened by the positive reaction of all of our people.
“As regards the business since reopening, I am encouraged by the demand from domestic leisure customers. Occupancy levels for the Group reached 30% in July and is projected to be 40% in August. As expected, our hotels in regional Ireland and regional UK performed better than those in Dublin and London, which depend more on international travel and events.”
He added: “We could never have foreseen the extent of the challenges we now face with Covid-19 but we have always approached the management of our balance sheet in a way that ensured we would be ready for the inevitable ups and downs in our industry, including shocks, and yet position it for ongoing growth and opportunity.
“We therefore entered the Covid-19 crisis in a very strong financial position. Our asset backed balance sheet and comfortable gearing ensured Dalata was well placed to confront the resulting challenges.