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Trump’s Scottish golf course Turnberry makes first profit

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Last year, a New York judge ruled that Mr Trump and his company were liable for the “false valuation” of the Aberdeen course as part of a wider judgement that found he had repeatedly misrepresented his wealth by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Prosecutors had argued that the value of the Trump International course was inflated by more than £160m.

Mr Trump has denied any wrongdoing and called the legal case a “witch hunt”.

Mr Trump resigned as director of his Scottish golf courses prior to entering the White House in 2017. His sons, Donald Jr and Eric, are listed as sole directors, but the ultimate owner is The Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust.

Accounts for SLC Turnberry show revenues rose from £13m to almost £22m last year. The company did not pay any tax on the profit as it carried forward losses from previous years.

Accounts for Golf Recreation Scotland, the immediate parent company of the Turnberry resort, are overdue. That business posted losses of £14.7m in 2021.

Directors said Turnberry’s owners remained “fully committed” to the resort and that future plans would enhance its reputation as Scotland’s “premier destination for luxury travel, championship golf and special events”.

The maiden profit will come as a major boost after organisers of The Open said the course would not be considered as a host of the tournament while Mr Trump remains owner. Turnberry has previously staged the world’s oldest golf tournament four times.

Trump International, which opened in Aberdeen in 2012, was built on 2,000 acres of coastal land overlooking the North Sea. Mr Trump claimed it would be the “world’s greatest golf course”.

The course is heavily indebted to Mr Trump, holding interest-free loans of almost £48m from the former president.

Trump International has frequently found itself at the centre of controversy.

Plans to build the course were met with a backlash from environmental campaigners because of concerns its construction would wreak havoc with sand dunes in the area. The dunes have since lost their status as a protected environmental site.

Mr Trump originally pledged to invest £1bn and create 800 jobs at the resort in Balmedie. However, the resort employed just 81 people at the end of 2022.

Bosses at the golf courses have previously blamed Brexit for their woes, citing supply chain issues and staffing difficulties caused by a lack of access to European workers.

Mr Trump’s golf courses, which together received more than £1m in government Covid support, have also blamed inflation and soaring energy prices for their challenges.

Despite the troubled finances, Mr Trump has set out plans to build a second golf course in Aberdeenshire. The new MacLeod course will be named after his mother, Mary Anne MacLeod Trump.

Mr Trump travelled to Scotland to open the site last year, marking his first visit outside the US since being indicted in New York on charges of carrying out a hush money scheme aimed at silencing accusations of extramarital affairs.

The former president and his son Eric were greeted from their private jet at Aberdeen airport by two pipers, a red carpet and a 10-vehicle motorcade.

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