Tuesday 22 May 2018

Abbeville's Japanese owner back in profit during 2017

Abbeville estate in Kinsealy
Abbeville estate in Kinsealy
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The family-controlled Japanese Toyoko Inn International hotel business that owns former Taoiseach Charlie Haughey's Abbeville estate, posted a €3.3m profit in its 2017 financial year, according to accounts just filed for the Dublin-based offshoot of the Asian firm.

That was a reversal on the €8.6m loss the company made the previous year.

Toyoko Inn forked out €5.5m for the late Taoiseach's home in north county Dublin in 2013.

The main house on the estate - designed by James Gandon - is a protected structure. In 2015, it was speculated that Tokoyo Inn might build guesthouses on the estate, where Mr Haughey lived for almost 40 years until he died in 2006.

Mr Haughey sold the estate in 2003 to Joe Moran's Manor Park Homes for about €45m. Mr Haughey was permitted to live in the house until his death. His wife Maureen, who died last year, lived at Abbeville until 2008.

Toyoko Inn International executive Takashi Miyauchi now lives at the house.

The Japanese firm has said it wants to develop a public amenity of national importance on the estate, with hotel use, tourism and recreational amenities.

A planning consultant for Toyoko Inn International told Fingal County Council in 2016 that the acquisition of Abbeville by the firm represented the "initiation of a very significant foreign direct investment in the Irish tourism sector by an international company".

It intends that the eventual development will be act as a flagship for its international business. It's also eyeing other hotel projects in the capital.

The Toyoko Inn chain was founded in 1986 by Norimasa Nishida, who remains its chief executive. It has more than 250 hotels, primarily in Japan. However, it has been expanding the chain in Europe, opening or planning hotels in Germany, France, the UK and Ireland. Dublin is its European headquarters. It's also planning a 615-bedroom hotel in Chicago and a 50-storey, 1,260-bedroom property in New York.

Mr Nishida has a long friendship with Brendan Scannell, the former Irish ambassador to Japan, who is now chairman of Toyoko Inn International.

Irish Independent

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