Reduction in tourism sends Ryan Hotels into red

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

RYAN HOTELS, the Irish leisure group, has announced a Ir pounds 1.1m (pounds 1.1m) loss for the 15 months to January compared with a Ir pounds 975,000 profit for the year to October 1991, writes Tom Stevenson. Profits were hit by lower margins and a nearly doubled interest charge.

Ryan suffered from a reduction in high-spending tourists from the US and Continental Europe in what it described as 'a very difficult year for the hotel industry in Ireland'.

Coach tours had been more resilient, but that end of the business represented lower room yields. Corporate business in Ireland and Continental Europe held up well.

The company announced figures for the extended period after changing its year-end to reflect the seasonality of the hotel trade. The 15-month period recorded the difficult November-January trading quarter twice.

The company described a small loss in the past three months as 'encouraging and a significant improvement on the previous year'. Despite better trading the dividend for the 15 months was maintained at 1p, the same as the previous 12-month payout.

Group turnover increased from Ir pounds 19.4m to Ir pounds 25.2m, although tighter margins left trading profit unchanged at Ir pounds 2.78m. In addition to the operating loss there was a Ir pounds 420,000 charge to cover the costs of a cost-cutting programme.