Donald Trump's Turnberry resort remains in red with losses of £3.38m

Donald Trump's flagship Scottish golf resort has incurred multimillion pound losses for the fourth consecutive year under his ownership.

The US president’s Turnberry resort ran up losses of £3.38m last year. It means that since he took over the South Ayrshire enclave in 2014, its losses total nearly £33m.

The latest annual loss is notable, given it covers the first full year of operations since the reopening of the resort after an extensive redevelopment of both its hotel and Ailsa golf course.

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Despite failing to return Turnberry to profit, Trump’s son, Eric Trump, welcomed the figures as “one of the most robust financial results” at the resort in a decade.

Turnberry has yet to return a profit under Donald Trump's ownership. Picture: John DevlinTurnberry has yet to return a profit under Donald Trump's ownership. Picture: John Devlin
Turnberry has yet to return a profit under Donald Trump's ownership. Picture: John Devlin

The latest annual accounts for SLC Turnberry Limited and its parent company, Golf Recreation Scotland Limited, were published today by Companies House.

The annual losses were significantly stemmed from the record £17.6m loss posted in 2016, but even so, the figures make clear that the challenge of wrenching Turnberry out of the red remains a formidable one.

They show turnover nearly doubled from £8.8m to £15.2m last year, which is in large part due to the fact the course was only open for six months in 2016 as the refurbishment works were carried out. However, even during the half-year it was opened, it still ran up an operating loss of £670,000.

The increase in revenue over the 12 month period was offset elsewhere. The cost of sales rose from £6.9m to £9.5m in 2017, while administrative expenses were up by more than £800,000.

Staffing numbers also went up from 313 to 395, with the wage bill increasing from £5.4m to £7.1m.

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The accounts also show that the resort remains heavily reliant on Trump for its finances. It owes the 72-year-old £107m, money that he provided in the form of interest free loans.

Trump visited Turnberry in July on a “working visit” to the UK, playing two rounds of golf at the historic property.

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That month, The Scotsman revealed the US State Department paid SLC Turnberry Limited more than £50,000 towards accommodation costs in connection with the visit.

In a strategic report accompanying the accounts, Eric Trump, a director of the two firms, said his father’s property company remained committed to Turnberry for the long haul.

He stated: “The directors believe that the resort will return to profitability in the short to medium term.

“The Trump Organisation remains fully committed to the resort and further redevelopments are ongoing.”

Although Eric is predominantly in charge of redeveloping Turnberry, it remains ultimately owned by his father, via a New York-based entity called the Donald J Trump Revocable Trust.

The latest accounts for Trump International Golf Links Scotland, the firm responsible for Trump’s first Scottish course, located in Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, have not yet been published. According to Companies House, they were due by 30 September.

It made a loss of £1.4m in 2016 and, like Turnberry, has yet to turn a profit under Mr Trump’s stewardship.