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Five star Rockcliffe Hall, Hurworth, shows £3.96m trading loss
BOSSES of a North-East luxury hotel say they are “very relaxed” about a multi-million pound trading loss.
The accounts for Rockliffe Hall, in Hurworth, near Darlington, showed the five star hotel, spa and golf resort lost £3.96m before tax for the 18 months ending June 30, 2012. This figure included £1.32m in interest and similar charges.
During that period, Rockliffe Hall Ltd saw a turnover of £8.43m, compared to £8.70m in the previous 18 months when the company recorded a pre-tax loss of £8.67m.
During the year Rockliffe's parent company Gibson O'Neill, which is majority owned by Middlesbrough FC chairman Steve Gibson, completed a refinancing exercise and paid off the hotel's external debt. Gibson O'Neill is now owed £32.41m by Rockliffe, although the hotel has been told it will not need to pay this back within the next year at least.
Rockliffe managing director Nick Holmes said the hotel had seen 30 per cent growth from year two into year three.
“We're very relaxed about where we are.
“We're certainly not slipping back. We didn't expect to be in profit for a number of years but we're currently in operating profit as we speak.
“It's all about establishing our brand and our reputation. It could take us until year five before we're in profit but at the end of the day it's a long term project.”
Mr Holmes blamed the loss on the cost of establishing the business and non-recurring costs.
He said the spar and accommodation has performed well with revenues increasing year on year, but admitted the £782,000 turnover from the gold course was disappointing.
The hotel blamed poor weather and competitors dropping fees to attract golfers as the market declined.
According to the directors' report, the hotel continued to establish itself as one of the premier luxury hotels in the UK.
As well as winning Visit England's Large Hotel of the Year award, it acted as the training camp for the USA and GB Olympic football teams.
In August this year, the venue will host the William Hunt Trilby Tour Grand Final golf tournament which will be televised live on Sky Sports.