Top Edinburgh hospitality business sees turnover surpass pre-pandemic peak but profits squeezed

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One of Edinburgh’s top hospitality businesses has overcome “significant industry challenges” to report record-breaking sales, though profits have come under pressure.

Surgeons Quarter, which promotes, sells and manages all commercial activities held within the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh campus, saw turnover top £9.24 million across its portfolio, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. Despite revenues sitting £2m above the venue’s best year in 2019, profit levels are down due to “economic challenges and financial increases”.

Bosses said the financial results for 2022 marked a significant improvement and recovery following the major impact of the pandemic and resulting economic crisis. The firm’s success was driven in part by its 129-room Ten Hill Place hotel, which achieved an 88 per cent occupancy rate for the year, welcoming more than 69,000 guests for overnight stays in the 12 months, notching up record room revenue of £4.5m.

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Surgeons Quarter’s workforce grew substantially over the year, with some 50 new members of staff coming on board following demand for the return of in-person meetings and events. The organisation also extended its portfolio, with SQ Travel, its dedicated travel agency, booking a series of trips in its first year of operating with a total value of booking of £1.1m. All profits generated across the Surgeons Quarter portfolio support the charitable aims of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, which are education, assessment and advancement in surgery.

Managing director Scott Mitchell said: “This is a new era for Surgeons Quarter - and the performance showcases that we are an ambitious and forward-looking organisation. Like all businesses, especially those within hospitality, we are facing challenges across all fronts. This includes rising costs throughout our operations, a lack of government support, supply challenges, staffing shortages - as well as taking into consideration changes brought in to improve sustainability.

“These factors combined mean our organisation has to work harder to secure profit - which in our case helps to fund life-changing surgical advancements around the world. Hospitality and the tourism economy is integral to Edinburgh and Scotland’s overall prosperity and despite the ever-changing landscape, we are delighted to be able to celebrate a record-breaking year.”

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