Trump's Irish resort loses money for third consecutive year

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

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NEW YORK, United States (AP) — Donald Trump has lost money for a third year in a row at his golf club in Ireland.

Financial statements filed with the Irish Government show the president's resort on the island's west coast lost about US$2.6 million in 2016, the latest year available. The losses come amid signs of trouble at some of his other golf resorts. His two Scottish resorts, for instance, recently reported losses had doubled in 2016.

There are signs of improvement at the Irish property, though. Revenue rose in 2016, and losses are smaller, down 14 per cent from a year earlier.

The Trump International Golf Links and Hotel in Doonbeg was hurt by a shutdown for 2015 and part of 2016 while the property was being refurbished. A statement by the resort's directors says they expect it to turn an operating profit in 2017. Those results aren't expected until late 2018.

The latest losses were first reported by the Irish Times. The newspaper quoted the general manager of the resort saying that revenue jumped an additional 10 per cent in the 2017, and that the resort is enjoying “record green fee business and a steady flow of new members”.

Including the latest results, the Doonbeg resort has lost about US$8.8 million (7.3 million euros) in the three years through 2016. Trump bought the property in 2014.

Trump has been losing money at his two Scottish resorts for three years, too. In 2016, he posted US$23 million in losses. Trump has angered local residents at a resort overlooking the North Sea in Aberdeen with what they claim have been bullying tactics over the years in an effort to expand his property.

The Irish course overlooking the Atlantic Ocean is considered one of Europe's best, but has attracted some controversy, too. Trump last month received approval from a local government to build a wall to protect his course from rising seas. The wall has angered some local residents and environmentalists who say the structure will damage dunes in the area and a public beach.

Some of Trump's golf courses in the US appear to be facing a backlash from players since he took office. His public courses in Los Angeles and one in the New York have reportedly faced drops in revenue in recent months.

Just how Trump's other courses have fared as well as his many branded hotels, office towers and residential buildings is unclear because the business is privately held and doesn't release much financial information. Trump stepped down from management of his business when he took office, but retains ownership through a trust managed by his two adult sons.

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