Wednesday 23 January 2019

Allen matriarch (88) happy with results from Ballymaloe

Myrtle Allen has received awards for her outstanding contribution to the Irish food industry
Myrtle Allen has received awards for her outstanding contribution to the Irish food industry

Gordon Deegan

The 88-year-old founder of the Ballymaloe food empire, Myrtle Allen, has said she is "very happy" with how the Cork-based Ballymaloe House performed last year.

Mrs Allen was commenting on new accounts filed by Yeats Room Ltd, the company behind the award-winning 32-bedroom Ballymaloe House, that show the firm incurring a modest loss of €21,364 in the 12 months to the end of October last.

The firm had accumulated profits of €2.3m at year end and Mrs Allen said: "Business has been good over the past year, we keep ticking over here."

Due to celebrate her 89th birthday next month, Mrs Allen said she continues to play an active role in the business. "I'm looking after the business today."

Since 1964, Mrs Allen has overseen the growth of a Ballymaloe business that has since spawned the cookery school operated by daughter-in-law Darina Allen, and the Ballymaloe Country Relish business run by daughter Jasmin Hyde.

Mrs Allen remarked: "Everyone has got a slice of the cake – we are not millionaires out of it."

The second and third generation Allens have in total created 16 separate enterprises.

Author of a number of cook books, Mrs Allen said that Ballymaloe Country House "has been very successful in the English market. English visitors have been a great help to business."

It was too soon to suggest that there will be an increase in business in 2013.

A note in the accounts states that the continued slump in the Irish economy resulted in the company recording the loss last year. The note adds: "The directors are engaged in ongoing actions to ensure the company's cost base is consistent with its current turnover.

"After taking current factors into account, the directors have looked forward and believe the company can generate a satisfactory outcome in the year to October 31 2013. This, however, is particularly dependent on revenue targets being met."

The figures show that the firm's cash fell from €721,654 to €518,419 last year.

One director of Yeats Room Ltd is Myrtle Allen's grandson and hot-pot millionaire Cullen Allen, who last year sold the firm he co-owned, the Cully & Sully food business, to US food firm, Hain Celestial.

The price he received came to €10.5m in cash and a further €4.5m based upon the achievement of specified operating results during the period through June 30, 2014.

Irish Independent

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