The group, which has 55 hotels and resorts in the UK, Ireland, Spain and Portugal also reduced its bank debt by £96m, leaving the company owing £193.6m plus £2.5m revolving credit.
“This is a very substantial reduction compared to the position in March this year, where our total bank borrowings were £301m. Following our privatisation in 2003 and before the global financial crisis, our gross debt was over £700m, which demonstrates the extent of our debt reduction over the years and without destroying any significant enterprise of the business," said deputy chairman and group finance director Gordon Fraser.
Ruaridh Macdonald, deputy chief executive said major sporting events such as The Ryder Cup, The Commonwealth Games, The Open Golf Championship and the Farnborough Air show, had helped give business a boost during the year ending 2 April 2015. He said the company had also invested £16m in capital projects during the year, including refurbishing 261 bedrooms at the Macdonald Aviemore Resort and adding a a new £1.8m leisure club and spa at the Macdonald Craxton Wood Hotel, Chester, as well as major bedroom refurbishment programmes at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh, the Macdonald Randolph Hotel, Oxford and the Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel, Bath.
Macdonald said performance was strong for the current year with like-for-likes sales and profits up by 6 per cent and 7 per cent respectively.
"There has been continued growth from both the commercial and leisure segments, with occupancy up a further 3 percentage points and average room rates up by 5 per cent," he said. "It is particularly encouraging that, on both these measures, we are outstripping the industry comparatives by 2 per cent as reported by HOTSTATS Hospitality Intelligence.
“The group has continued its strong capital investment programme, with £9m already invested and a further £5m committed in capital projects in the current financial year, with continuing major bedroom refurbishment programmes at the Macdonald Randolph Hotel, Oxford, the Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel, Bath as well as at the Macdonald Bear Hotel at Woodstock. Over the last two years we have invested over £1m in our hotel IT infrastructure and in our website.”
The last year has also seen the family-owned group launch its Spa Academy and its Chef Academy which will see 50 new apprentices trained in the next year.