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The Mail on Sunday - 2021-10-10

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Ineos chief puts extra cash into Pig hotels

Financial

By Harriet Dennys

BILLIONAIRE industrialist Jim Ratcliffe has injected £3.3million into The Pig hotels chain t o help finance its expansion. Ratcliffe, t he f ounder of petrochemicals group Ineos, owns 50 per cent of The Pig hotels business. He invested in the group as it opened two new boutique hotels last year at Harlyn Bay, Cornwall, and Madehurst, West Sussex. The investment, revealed in new company documents, means Ratcliffe has now loaned £34.8 million to the company, up from £31.5million in 2019. The Pig group specialises in hotels in period and Grade II-listed properties across the South of England. Its seven hotels made a £1.1 million pre-tax loss last year when trade was affected by Covid lockdowns, compared to a £219,000 loss in 2019. Turnover fell 17.5 per cent to £21.5 million, down from £26.1 million. At the height of the pandemic the group had more t han 800 staff on furlough. Directors said demand from guests had been ‘exceptional’ when the hotels had been open, with an average 92 per cent occupancy. Chief executive Robin Hutson, who founded The Pig hotels in 2011, after previously cofounding Hotel du Vin, said in July that revenues will bounce back to £40million next year. His Home Grown Hotels group also manages the Lime Wood Hotel i n Hampshire, owned by Ratcliffe.

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