Golf club reports £260k loss due to Covid

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 12, 2021 07:53

An Irish golf club that is usually popular with overseas visitors has said its operating loss for 2020 was more than a quarter of a million pounds.

Lahinch Golf Club said the loss of €303,199 (about £260,000) was manageable though.

Chairman Martin O’Sullivan revealed the losses at a virtual annual general meeting but said the club is likely to recover this year.

“While any loss is unwelcome, the outturn is acceptable when compared with our peer group, and is manageable once some normality returns, hopefully later this year,” he said.

Green fees reduced by 88 per cent to €226,025 (£194,000), while professional shop income reduced by 90 per cent to €45,532 (£39,000), mainly due to a collapse in overseas visitors.

Overall club income last year declined by 61.5 per cent to €1.33 million (£1.14 million) and the club offset most of this reduction “by implementing an extensive cost-management programme”.

Its expenditure reduced by 34 per cent to €2.66 million (£2.29 million). When non-cash depreciation costs are taken into account, the club loss for the year was just over £1 million.

The club received €292,805 (about £250,000) from government wage-subsidy schemes.

Lahinch Golf Club. Image from Facebook

Mr O’Sullivan said the club “continues to manage its cost base and while the prospect of overseas visitors returning towards the back end of the season is diminishing daily, the club is confident it will trade through what is left of this pandemic and will be in a strong position to build its reserves when some form of normality returns”.

At the end of December 2020, the club had total funds of €7.4 million (£6.3 million).

At the club’s deferred 2019 AGM held last November, members voted to increase subscriptions by 7.5 per cent from January of this year.

The increase “will help to close the wide gap between members’ and visitors’ contributions somewhat, though continued increases in subscriptions need to be an important part of our future financial planning”, he added.

Golf Ireland, meanwhile, has said Irish clubs have lost more than £17 million in revenue in the last year.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had, and continues to have, a severe financial impact on golf clubs which have been closed for significant periods in the last 12 months. Golf Ireland is supporting its member clubs in every way we can and we are delighted to have secured a total of €3.4million (£2.9 million) for clubs in the Republic of Ireland and £4.2million (£3.6 million) for clubs in Northern Ireland,” Mark Kennelly, chief executive, said.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 12, 2021 07:53
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