Friday 21 July 2017

Profits slump to €3m at developer Gerry Gannon's building firm

Increase in market activity leads to development of sites

Gerry Gannon
Gerry Gannon
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Profits at developer Gerry Gannon's company fell by almost a quarter last year to €3.1m, as turnover tumbled from €43.8m to €28.8m.

Newly-filed accounts for Gannon Homes point out that it continues to deal with legacy debt but that its net liabilities fell to €125.3m from €128.4m at the end of 2015.

Mr Gannon was one of the most high-profile developers during the boom, responsible for swathes of residential projects around Dublin.

He was also one of the so-called Maple 10, a group of investors who bought shares in Anglo Irish Bank in order to reduce Sean Quinn's stake in the doomed lender.

The bank loaned the investors the money to buy the shares.

Mr Gannon was also a co-owner of the K Club until he sold it to Michael Smurfit, a move he was compelled to make by Nama after he ended up owing Anglo Irish Bank more than €1bn.

His loans were transferred to Nama in 2010 and the agency has helped bankroll his latest developments.

The accounts for Gannon Homes show that its administrative expenses fell to €337,000 in 2015 from €1.2m a year earlier.

They also show that the company received €14.6m in new secured loans.

Of its turnover in 2015, €25.1m was from the sale of development lands, €2.6m from residential rental income, and €1.1m from commercial rentals.

"The directors are confident in the company's ability to remain profitable," the directors note in the accounts.

"The increase in activity in the marketplace has allowed the company to commence planning and development of sites held by the company, while older developments have seen an increase in their market value," they added.

Mr Gannon is currently engaged in a number of development projects in north County Dublin.

At the beginning of the year, he submitted a plan for a huge project in north Dublin that will include the restoration of Belcamp Hall, a protected, but derelict Georgian building.

Mr Gannon acquired the more than 81-hectare site - formerly the home of the Belcamp College - in 2004 for €105m.

The historic house at the location has been subject to arson attacks and vandalism.

During the summer, there were two blazes at the historic home within a 24-hour period.

Last Christmas, Gannon Properties was granted permission by Fingal County Council for 190 houses and 60 apartments in Swords.

In 2014, Mr Gannon sold a portfolio of houses and land at Malahide in Dublin to UK firm Development Securities for over €30m.

Last week, 105 apartments at a development in Malahide by Gannon Homes were put up for sale in a single lot for more than €40m.

The project was completed in 2005.

Irish Independent

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