Trump’s Aberdeenshire golf resort runs up £1m losses with no profit in seven years

Donald Trump’s inaugural Scottish golf resort remains mired in the red after running up losses of more than £1 million, newly published accounts show.

The International Golf Links relies on loans provided by Trump. Picture: Paul Faith/Getty
The International Golf Links relies on loans provided by Trump. Picture: Paul Faith/Getty

The US president’s Trump International Golf Links firm in Aberdeenshire posted annual losses of £1.07m in 2018, marking the seventh consecutive year it has failed to turn a profit, according to documents lodged with Companies House.

The figures are based on an annual turnover of £2.76m. The company remains reliant on interest-free loans provided by Trump worth £40.6m. The latest filings mean that Trump’s resort, which he promised would be the “world’s greatest,” has now run up cumulative losses of more than £9.4m.

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In the previous accounts, covering the 12 months to the end of December 2017, its losses ran to £1.25m, with turnover standing at £2.54m. It employed 84 staff.

The latest accounts, signed off by the Trump Organisation’s auditors in Scotland, Johnston Carmichael, cover the 12 months to the end of December 2018. They show the employee headcount has since fallen to 77. When Trump first unveiled his plans for the resort, he promised it would create 6,000 jobs.

Trump’s presence in Aberdeenshire stretches back 13 years. The plans for the resort were first submitted by the Trump Organisation in 2006 and approved amid controversy by the Scottish Government in 2008. The golf course opened four years later.

The company has three directors in the form of Trump’s adult sons, Eric and Donald Jr, along with Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organisation’s chief financial officer. It is ultimately controlled by an entity known as the Donald J Trump Revocable Trust, a New York-based grantor trust which has two trustees – Donald Trump and Weisselberg.

In his director’s report which accompanies the latest filings, Eric Trump, executive vice-president of the Trump Organisation, stressed that Trump’s resort in the North-east of Scotland was a prestigious destination. “Trump International’s reputation and status with tour operators and agents across Europe, America and further afield continues to expand as its services and products evolve,” he wrote.

The latest financial report has been disclosed a week after the Trump Organisation claimed victory in its contentious plans for a luxury housing development adjoining the resort, dubbed the Trump Estate.

The venture will see 500 homes and 50 holiday units built, with Trump’s firm promising to spend £147.2m.

It was approved at a full meeting of Aberdeenshire Council despite thousands of objections and warnings from inside the local authority that the plans represented a “weak substitute” to what was originally proposed for the area more than a decade ago.

The latest accounts are due soon for Turnberry. It, too, has failed to turn a profit under Trump’s ownership.