Thursday 27 October 2016

Profits dip, debt rises at Donnybrook Fair as revenue remains stable at €23m

Published 14/01/2016 | 02:30

Donnybrook Fair founder and chief executive Joe Doyle
Donnybrook Fair founder and chief executive Joe Doyle

UPMARKET food retailer Donnybrook Fair served up a €406,000 pre-tax profit in its last year - less than the €607,000 it made in 2014, as its interest bill rose on much higher debt levels.

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Turnover at the chain, which last month opened its first ever outlet on Dublin's northside, remained static at €23.5m.

The company has been steadily expanding, and the store it opened in Malahide, Co Dublin, in December was the sixth in the chain, with a seventh already being considered. But the expansion has also meant higher debt levels. The accounts for the business, which is owned by founder and chief executive Joe Doyle and his wife Mary, show that group bank loans soared to €8.1m at the end of January 2015 from just over €1m a year earlier.

It took on a new €9.5m long-term bank loan, and repaid an existing long-term loan that amounted to almost €2m. During the last financial year, the group paid €8.7m to acquire tangible assets, compared to the €502,000 the previous year. The accounts show that it paid €8.5m to acquire property freehold in the latest period.

"During the year the group undertook a restructuring," the accounts note. "The group purchased certain stores from which it trades and which are now included in the balance sheet along with the associated debt."

The group had previously indicated that it was preparing to take over the leasehold of the premises in Malahide where it opened its new store. The increased debt increased the group's interest bill in the last financial year to €201,000 from €36,000 a year earlier.

Donnybrook Fair has roots that stretch back about 40 years, but it's only over the past decade that it has developed its current retail format. It hired 65 full and part-time staff for its Malahide outlet, bringing its total workforce to over 200.

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