Prague hotels owned by Quinn family rack up €18m in losses
A luxurious Hilton hotel in Prague, owned by the Quinn family, racked up losses of €16.5m in 2008, according to accounts filed in Luxembourg and seen by the Irish Independent.
The figure represents a sharp deterioration in the performance of the company since 2007, when it recorded a profit of almost €4.5m.
Sean Quinn paid about €145m in 2004 for the Prague Hilton hotel and a budget Ibis property in the Czech capital, using tens of millions of euro in loans from the now nationalised Anglo Irish Bank.
The imposing, glass-clad hotel is the biggest in the Czech Republic and one of the largest Hilton hotels in Europe. It boasts 788 rooms, three restaurants and numerous leisure facilities. Among its previous guests have been US President George Bush, in 2007.
The Prague Hilton is directly owned by Czech-registered company Quinn Hotels Praha, which is in turn controlled by Quinn Group Luxembourg Hotels.
The Ibis Karlin hotel in Prague is directly owned by Shamrock Investment Properties, which is in turn also controlled by the Luxembourg company.
Accounts for Quinn Group Luxembourg for 2008 show that Quinn Hotels Praha made a €16.5m loss in 2008, while Shamrock Investment made a €2.16m loss. Those figures follow a near €4.5m profit for Quinn Hotels Praha in 2007 and a €222,000 profit for Shamrock Investment the same year, according to the accounts.
Accounts filed in Ireland and in Luxembourg for Quinn Group Hotels, which only covers the two Prague hotel properties, showed a profit of €5.1m for 2007 on top of an €8.1m profit in 2006.
All the shares owned by Quinn Group Luxembourg in Quinn Hotels Praha and Shamrock Investment are pledged in favour of Anglo Irish Bank, while Sean Quinn's daughter Colette is listed as being the main director of Quinn Group Luxembourg Hotels. Mr Quinn is not listed as a director of the hotel firm, however.
The latest set of accounts for the company, from 2008, also show that the value of its equity investment in Quinn Hotels Praha was slashed by €5.7m in 2008 to €33.1m.
Mr Quinn's family also owns a Hilton-branded hotel in Bulgaria's capital, Sofia, which was bought in 2005, while a Sheraton hotel in Krakow, Poland, was acquired in 2006 for about €45m.
The leisure arm of Sean Quinn's embattled business empire includes a raft of pubs in Ireland as well as the Slieve Russell hotel in Cavan and the iconic Belfry golf complex in England.