2016 was a good year for the Ritz Hotel Casino in London. The venue, which is owned by the Barclay brothers, reported a pre-tax profit of $11.64 million for the year, giving it a substantial foundation upon which to continue to build. Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite as well as the Barclay brothers would have liked for the its latest fiscal year and the casino saw a loss that completely wiped out the previous year’s pre-tax profit, and then some.
For the 2017 fiscal year, the Ritz reported a loss of $15.3 million (£11.7 million). Overall, the property’s revenue dropped to $29.1 million from the $43.1 million it reported in the year prior. It indicated that it has seen the same level of traffic between the two reporting years; however, profit was impacted by an increase in payouts to customers.
The company hopes to turn things around in 2018. It said in its revenue filing, “Efforts to encourage new Middle East and Far Eastern players remain focused and business in 2018 is expected to be more fortuitous.” Aidan Barclay, who is the son of David Barclay and sits on the company’s board, added, “Business in 2018 is expected to be more fortuitous.”
The Ritz hotel has been around since the beginning of the last century. It was previously a ballroom, a restaurant and an entertainment venue and the casino was added in 1977. The Barclay brothers purchased it in 1995.
There has been talk in the past that the Barclay brothers, who also own the Daily Telegraph, could try to sell The Ritz Club, the gambling portion of the venue. In December of last year, rumors circulated that the two had appointed an advisory company to manage the sale, but they never provided comments on the subject. They reportedly had been approached by someone interested in buying the property, at the time reportedly worth around $261.5 million.
Back in 2011, there was also an announcement that the brothers were considering the sale of the property. At the time, the Barclays said that they had received several takeover bids for the operation, but nothing further developed. The Ritz Hotel was said to be worth $817.2 million then, and a sale probably would have made a lot of sense in hindsight.