Northern Ireland

Andras House hotel chain returns to profit

Lord Rana
Image caption Andras House is owned by Lord Rana

One of Northern Ireland largest hotel chains returned to profit in 2012.

Andras House, which is owned by Lord Rana, made a pre-tax profit of £1.3m compared to a loss of £229,000 in 2011.

Turnover rose slightly from £12.6m to £13.2m but a reduction in one-off costs helped the bottom line.

However, the value of the firm's assets was written down by more than £20m to reflect the effects of the property crash.

That reduces the firm's net assets from more than £71m to £52m.

The company owns five hotels and a serviced apartment block in Belfast: two hotels operate under the Ibis brand in Castle Street and University Street, another in University Street under the Holiday Inn Express brand, the Days Hotel on Great Victoria Street and the Ramada at Shaw's Bridge.

Andras House also has offices in Belfast but the vast majority of its turnover comes from the hotel businesses.

The accounts also make reference to an ongoing legal battle between the company and the Housing Executive.

The Housing Executive wants to take back a 2.6 acre site off Sandy Row in Belfast city centre and pursue an Andras House subsidiary for damages for trespass and breach of contract.

Lincoln Centre Belfast Limited was granted control of the land in 1998.

It was part of a deal worth £3.6m but it has failed to develop the site as agreed.

Instead it has been operating as a car park without proper planning approval.

In October 2012, the Housing Executive won the first stage of its court case.

A note in the Andras House accounts states that appeal hearings are scheduled to take place in November 2013.