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Dalata focuses on further UK expansion

The hotel group has continued to expand away from its Irish roots into the UK
Dalata focuses on further UK expansion

Dalata Hotel Group (DAL) historically focused on the Irish market, but in recent years has expanded its presence into the UK. Indeed, of the 2,400 rooms in the pipeline, most will be opened in the UK. Deputy chief executive Dermot Crowley was pleased with the UK’s performance during the first half, when four of the six cities in which it operates outperformed the wider market. Analysts at Berenberg agree, calling the 3.2 per cent like-for-like growth in revenue per available room “impressive” in light of a subdued market. Mr Crowley attributed this performance to Dalata’s focus on major cities, which benefit from corporate stays, in addition to leisure travel, and the fact that the average age of its rooms is much lower than competitors.

IC TIP: Buy at 400p

Management remains committed to paying out between 20 per cent and 30 per cent of after-tax profits after it initiated dividend payments last year. Last year it paid out 25 per cent of profits, but this could creep higher this year due to the impact of IFRS accounting changes. These payments continue to be supported by cash generation, which increased to €45.1m (£41m) from €31.4m this time last year.

Analysts at Berenberg expect EPS of 44¢ during 2019, increasing to 47¢ in 2020.

DALATA HOTEL GROUP (DAL)  
ORD PRICE:400pMARKET VALUE:£737m
TOUCH:385-414p12-MONTH HIGH:633pLOW: 380p
DIVIDEND YIELD:2.4%PE RATIO:10
NET ASSET VALUE:519¢NET DEBT:37%*
Half-year to 30 JunTurnover (€m)Pre-tax profit (€m)Earnings per share (¢)Dividend per share (¢)
201818035.416.63.0
201920237.817.73.5
% change+12+7+7+17
Ex-div:12 Sep   
Payment:04 Oct   
£1=€1.10 *Excludes lease liabilities of €314m