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Budget hotel operator EasyHotel is targeting a 2021 opening date for its first property in the Republic.

Currently, the company’s only presence in Ireland is its one hotel in Belfast, which is run on a franchise basis.

A long-since planned opening in Dublin is now set for the second half of 2021 and further Irish openings have not been ruled out.

The company acquired a freehold site in the Smithfield area of Dublin City nearly two years ago. Planning permission initially allowed for a 96-bedroom hotel, but the company is now targeting a 160-bedroom property.

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The Dublin hotel will be owned and operated by the company, rather than via a franchise partner.

While further Irish openings have not been ruled out, EasyHotel’s immediate expansion focus is on UK cities and mainland Europe, particularly France and Spain.

EasyHotel is still listed on the London Stock Exchange, but is now majority-owned by a consortium including property investor Ivanhoé Cambridge and Luxembourg-based property fund manager ICAMAP Investments, as opposed to EasyJet and EasyGroup founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

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Speaking on the back of a mixed set of annual results, EasyHotel’s interim chief executive Scott Christie said management is excited by its development pipeline and the potential for the brand in Europe.

The company reported a 56% jump in revenues — to £17.6m (€20.8m) — for the year to the end of September, but also incurred a pre-tax loss of £3.57m, compared to a profit of £870,000 12 months prior.

By Geoff Percival

Source: Irish Examiner

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