Donald Trump’s Aberdeenshire resort runs up losses for eighth consecutive year

Donald Trump’s inaugural Scottish golf resort has run up losses of more than £1.1 million, marking the eighth consecutive year the outgoing US president’s property has failed to turn a profit.

Donald Trump plays a round of golf at his Aberdeenshire resort. (Picture: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty)

Newly published accounts lodged with Companies House show that Trump International Scotland in Aberdeenshire remains in the red, some 15 years after its incorporation.

The accounting period covers the 12 months to December 31, 2019 and does not reflect disruption to the business as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The filings show that Mr Trump’s resort, which he promises would be the “world’s greatest”, remains reliant on interest-free loans provided by the 74-year-old worth £40.61 million.

It also owes £3.63m to its parent company, DJT Holdings LLC, a holding company tied to the Trump Organisation’s international property portfolio – an increase of more than £1.1m on the previous year. The company is ultimately owned by a New York state grantor trust set up in Mr Trump’s name.

While it posted an annual turnover of £3.27m, the financial results mean that Mr Trump’s resort in Balmedie has now run up cumulative losses of more than £10.5m.

In its previous accounts, covering 2018, Trump International Scotland reported losses of £1.07m, with turnover of £2.76m. At the time, it employed 77 staff. The latest accounts put the the staff headcount at 84.

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Some 15 years have now passed since Mr Trump, then best known for his reality television show appearances, decided to expand the Trump Organisation’s footprint to his mother’s homeland.

Trump International Scotland’s corporate entity was incorporated in October 2005, and the plans for the resort were first submitted by the Trump Organisation the following year. They were approved amid controversy by the Scottish Government in 2008. The golf course opened four years later.

Companies House filings show that Donald Trump Jr and Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organisation’s veteran chief financial officer, are classed as persons with “significant control” of the Aberdeenshire company.

In his director's report, which accompanies the latest filings, Eric Trump, executive vice-president of the Trump Organisation, said the extent of the impact of Covid-19 on the resort’s business and financial results would depend on the “duration and spread” of the outbreak.

But he stressed its profitability would be “positively impacted in the long term as a result of operational adjustments enacted to address these risks”.

It comes 15 months after Mr Trump’s firm claimed victory in its contentious plans for a luxury housing development adjoining the resort, to be known as the Trump Estate.

It has promised to spend more than £147m on the expansion, which will see 500 homes and 50 holiday units built.

Despite securing planning permission, the timescale and future of the development is unclear, with Trump International Scotland declining to respond to enquiries by The Scotsman on when the first phase of the village-style development will be completed.

In his director’s report, Eric Trump states that “offers and enquiries” for potential properties continue, which he said reaffirmed the “strength of market interest” in the development.

In December, NatureScot, Scotland’s nature agency, announced the coastal dunes on which Mr Trump’s resort was partly built had lost their special protected status.

Trump International Scotland and the Trump Organisation have been approached for comment on the latest accounts.

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