*John Burke

MOUNT EVEREST conqueror John Burke is scaling new heights with his Spanish Point hotel business on course for record revenues and profitability in 2023.

Mr Burke operates the Armada Hotel that overlooks Spanish Point beach in West Clare and new accounts for Armada Holdings Ltd show that pre-tax profits last year increased by 61 percent to €1.5m.

This followed revenues more than doubling from €5.1m to €11.69m as the business recovered from the COVID-19 impact and closure for almost half of 2021.

The hotel is one of the most popular hotel venues in the west of Ireland for weddings and a note attached to the accounts states that the business is performing strongly and business on the books for 2023 and 2024 would indicate business will continue to grow in 2023.

The note states that “2023 should be a record year in terms of sales and profitability. Despite the impact of rising costs the directors believe that the hotel can continue to perform strongly and deliver growth year on year”.

Mr Burke climbed to the top of Mount Everest in 2017 and is part of a business double act where his wife and former Fair City actor, Aoibhin Garrihy is continuing to expand her Beo wellness brand this year with the recent opening of a new retail outlet in Ennis.

In a note attached to the new Armada accounts, it states that as the business emerges from the impact of Covid-19 “a truer picture of the trading potential emerges”.

It states, “The completion of an expansion programme has seen the addition of the new Aileens restaurant and the repurposing of the Pearl suite”.

It adds, “These developments have allowed the hotel to trade stronger in new markets, such as corporate meetings and events and leisure guest stays during weekends”.

“Along with this the addition of Armada House, a historical property and its 13 bedrooms has grown the hotel’s room stock significantly along with the diversity of the product offering.

It adds further “the Armada has set a new bar for turnover level in 2022 that gives great confidence in the company’s ability to perform in to the future”.

In a report signed off by directors, John Burke and June Curtin, it adds that “the directors have strong belief that the company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future”.

The profit for last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €819,363.

The business recorded an operating profit of €1.7m and interest charge of €191,786 reduced profits to a pre-tax profit of €1.5m The business enjoyed a post-tax profit of €1.32m after incurring a corporation tax charge of €190,732.

The expanded hotel enterprise is one of the largest employers in West Clare and numbers employed last year increased from 180 to 195 as wages and expenses totalled €3.87m last year.

The hotel’s energy bill last year almost doubled from €165,285 to €356,495 while the hotel’s insurance bill totalled €111,758.

A further €64,699 was spent on staff uniforms while the amount paid out to ‘bands artists’ totalled €102,410. Subscriptions to IMRO/SKY doubled to €14,298.

In terms of a breakdown in revenues, the hotel recorded accommodation sales of €3.7m and its revenues from food sales totalled €4.73m and bar sales €2.89m.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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