While all three of Trump’s European golf courses — one in Ireland and two in Scotland — saw revenue rise last year, none posted an overall profit. The losses, including depreciation and other factors, totaled more than $20 million last year.
The results at Trump Doonbeg were an improvement over its past performance. The club posted an operating profit of more than $3,300, compared with an operating loss of nearly $400,000 in 2017.
The overall 2018 loss, including depreciation, was also an improvement over the prior year, when the club lost $2.1 million.
Still, the records show that Trump’s company continued to pump money into the project: It invested another $900,000 in 2018. With that, Trump’s company has now invested about $45 million to buy, renovate and operate the course — all in cash, with no sign that the company borrowed any of the money it needed. That investment has never turned a profit.
The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The results in Europe are important to the Trump Organization because the properties represent the company’s major international investments. At other foreign properties, the company licenses the Trump name and receives a fee in return. But in Europe, Trump paid more than $300 million — he says in cash — to buy and renovate three golf courses carved out of the coastlines of Scotland and Ireland.
Since swearing off new foreign deals since Trump took office, the company has focused on making existing properties more lucrative. At all three European clubs, the Trump Organization is trying to build homes — in one case, more than 500 houses — to bolster the bottom line.
Trump bought the Doonbeg course out of foreclosure in 2014, paying $11.9 million. The course lost more than $1 million every year from 2014 to 2018, according to the most recent Irish corporate records available.
The club and hotel are located in a rural swath of southwestern Ireland. Many locals consider the golf course a crucial part of the economy in the area, where jobs are scarce.
The Trump Organization won approval in October from the local Clare County Council to build 53 homes and a new ballroom, part of the broader effort to move into residential building and hosting more private events.
The Doonbeg course also faces risks from its seaside location. Atlantic Ocean waves have eroded the sand dunes over the years and threaten to wash out parts of the golf course. The Trump Organization has applied to build a rock barrier below the dunes to prevent further erosion and is waiting for a national planning board to decide the matter.
Without that sea wall — a plan opposed by environmentalists and others — the club’s other residential developments and investments could be at risk.
The Trump Organization noted the importance of the sea wall and the new buildings planned at the course to Doonbeg’s prospects.
“The success of both applications will be fundamental to the continued success of the resort and its operations,” the company said in its latest annual report filing.