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Donald Trump’s Scottish golf courses post losses of £15m

The Independent logo The Independent 2/02/2023 Craig Paton
Donald Trump visit to Scotland © PA Archive Donald Trump visit to Scotland

The company which owns former US president Donald Trump’s Ayrshire golf course posted a more than £15 million loss in 2021, its accounts show.

Golf Recreation Scotland owns Trump Turnberry in South Ayrshire, which was purchased by the controversial property tycoon who is currently eyeing a second term in the White House.

According to accounts lodged with Companies House and published on Wednesday, the group made a loss of £14.7 million in 2021, despite an operating profit of just over £1 million, as a result of depreciation, foreign currency exchange and “exceptional items”.

Accounts for the Trump family’s Aberdeenshire course, meanwhile, show a £696,000 loss in 2021 – an improvement on its £1.3 million deficit the previous year.

The former president’s son Eric Trump signed off the accounts for the Turnberry course as a director of the company, saying in a report that Brexit had impacted on supply chains and staffing.

“Brexit has impacted our business as supply chains have been impacted by availability of drivers and staff, reducing deliveries and the availability of certain product lines,” he wrote.

According to the report, “prices have increased, from additional freight and import duty charges”.

Eric Trump also said staff availability had been a “challenge” due to wage inflation caused by “increased business levels” in the retail and logistics sectors, adding the “staffing pool” had been “indirectly” impacted by Brexit “with lack of access to European staff for businesses in general resulting in greater demand for the individuals previously available at the resort”.

Similar issues were also raised in the accounts published for the Menie Estate course in Aberdeenshire.

During his campaign for the White House in 2016, Donald Trump praised the UK for voting to leave the EU during a visit to Scotland the day after the referendum.

In the hours after the result became known, his helicopter touched down at the Turnberry course and he branded Brexit a “great thing”.

He went on to tell the Telegraph that Brexit would be a good thing for Trump Turnberry, saying: “When the pound goes down, more people are coming to Turnberry.”

The companies are reliant on inter-company loans from the Trump Organisation, which now total £131.6 million for the Turnberry course, up from £113.6 million the previous year, and £1.2 million for Aberdeenshire – up from £1.1 million.

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