Golf resort

O’Brien firms linked to loss of PGA Catalunya golf resort clips

The business group that owns, operates and develops PGA Catalunya’s property, Denis O’Brien’s golf resort near the Catalan city of Girona, cut operating losses last year despite the impact of Covid-19.

Murryhill Holdings, a UK-registered company ultimately owned by one of Mr O’Brien’s Isle of Man companies, saw a 27% drop in revenue last year to 22, 7 million pounds sterling (26.7 million euros). As well as the impact of the pandemic, he also said there was “some Brexit impact on UK customers”, but he doesn’t expect this to last long term.

It recorded an operating loss of £1.8m, an improvement from the previous year’s operating loss of £2.3m. The company earned more than £1.3million on a land sale deal, which helped cut its net losses by more than half.

The company cut more than 120 staff during the year, with the number of employees falling to around 190. It also invested £3.5million in a new wellness centre, which opened its doors in Catalunya in April this year.

Murryhill was listed for debarment by UK authorities last month, but that threat was dropped after her documents were updated and “cause was shown” as to why she should not be debarred. A few days later a company secretary agency was terminated as Murryhill’s company secretary.

Mr O’Brien, who separately owns the Quinta Do Lago golf resort in Portugal, first invested in the European golf industry more than 20 years ago when he took over a then-listed company, PGA European Tour Races.

PGA Catalunya is located about an hour from Barcelona. It includes two championship courses, a five-star hotel and residential properties developed by Mr. O’Brien’s company. More than half of Murryhill’s income last year is tied in its accounts to its real estate business.

John Ryall and Georgina Keane, two longtime associates of Mr. O’Brien, are among its directors.

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