Auchran­nie faces Brexit chal­lenge

The Arran Banner - - News -

Prof­its in­creased at Auchran­nie Re­sort by nearly one-third in its most re­cent fi­nan­cial year, writes Hugh Boag.

The com­pany re­ported a pre-tax profit of £448,493 for the year ended March 31, 2018, up from £308,982 the pre­vi­ous year. The ac­counts co­in­cided with the ho­tel’s move into em­ployee own­er­ship in Jan­uary last year, which gave each of its 160 em­ploy­ees a di­rect stake in the busi­ness.

The change came dur­ing a year which saw Auchran­nie main­tain oc­cu­pancy rates at 90 per cent, help­ing to grow turnover to £7.6 mil­lion up from £7.2m.

Di­rec­tor Colin Mor­ri­son noted that prof­its had in­creased fol­low­ing a con­certed effort to make sav­ings across the busi­ness, ahead of it be­com­ing a ‘real liv­ing wage’ em­ployer fol­low­ing year-end in April.

Re­cruit

How­ever, he noted that Brexit is un­der­min­ing the com­pany’s abil­ity to re­tain and re­cruit staff from EU coun­tries. Cur­rently, around one-third of Auchran­nie’s staff come from na­tions within the EU, which the UK is sched­uled to leave on March 29.

In his an­nual interview with The Her­ald news­pa­per Mr Mor­ri­son said: ‘Cer­tainly this sum­mer there were quite a lot of rea­son­ably long-term team mem­bers who headed back to their home coun­tries. We are find­ing it more dif­fi­cult to re­cruit from Europe.’

Asked whether Brexit is caus­ing the busi­ness in other ways, Mr Mor­ri­son said there has been a re­duc­tion in the av­er­age length of stay guests are book­ing, re­flect­ing di­min­ished con­sumer con­fi­dence. He also ex­pressed con­cern that Brexit could hit con­sumer spend­ing if it puts more pres­sure on the econ­omy.

Mr Mor­ri­son added that £800,000 was in­vested last year to add six new eco-lodges to the re­sort’s new cou­ples re­treat in the Auchran­nie grounds, which be­gan tak­ing guests in June. The per­for­mance of the lodges is be­ing as­sessed with a view to more be­ing added.

The lodges at the new cou­ples re­treat at Auchran­nie Re­sort.

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