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Cheers all round as profits double at Louis Fitzgerald pub group


Kehoes Pub in South Anne Street.

Kehoes Pub in South Anne Street.

Kehoes Pub in South Anne Street.

Profits were flowing at the country's largest pub group last year as pre-tax profits more than doubled to €10.9m.

The Louis Fitzgerald group operates some of the country's best known pubs including the Quays pubs in Temple Bar, Dublin and Galway along with the Stag's Head, Kehoes and the Big Tree in Dublin.

New accounts show that pre-tax profits increased by 174pc to €10.9m as revenues increased by 4pc going from €54.2m to €56.58m in the 12 months to the end of June last.

The group's successful year allowed it to repay a €7.5m loan to an unidentified director with Louis Fitzgerald and Helen Fitzgerald being the only directors in the company.

Emoluments to Louis and Helen Fitzgerald dropped sharply from €1.9m to €431,584.

The large increase in pre-tax profits was driven by a €5.2m profit on the sale an unidentified investment.

Other well-known pubs in the group include An Poitín Still at Rathcoole and the Gin Palace in Dublin while the group operates a number of hotels including the Arlington Hotel and the four star Louis Fitzgerald hotel.

The group also operates the Baggot Inn, The Finches and The Laurels in Clondalkin, The Grand Central in O'Connell St, The Old Mill in Tallaght, The Palmerstown House, The Traders in Walkinstown and The Roost in Maynooth.

According to the directors' report attached to the accounts for Ocsas Holdings Ltd, "despite difficult trading conditions and the pressures on the licensed trade and hotel industry as a whole, the group achieved an operating profit of €8.3m".

This represented a 7.5pc increase on the operating profit of €7.8m in 2013.

The directors state that the group's earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortisation (EBIDTA) along with the group share of a joint venture was €13.47m compared to €12.3m in 2013.

The report states: "The directors are of the view that despite the current difficult economic climate the actions taken to reduce costs, introduce improved work practices and efficiencies and developing new marketing strategies to generate extra business will ensure that the busi- ness will continue to be profitable."

The report goes on: "This will also ensure that when the current economic climate improves we will be in a strong position to take immediate advantage of improved circumstances."

The group increased its bank loans during the year from €79.7m to €86.5m. Net bank interest payments of €2.6m reduced the profit before interest from €13.6m to €10.9m.

The group's cash reserves decreased during the year from €20.3m to €15m with its net assets increasing from €62.7m to €72.88m.

The numbers employed by the group last year increased marginally from 662 to 674 that includes 605 bar staff, 46 bar managers and 23 in administration.

The accounts show that the company's employment costs decreased slightly from €14.74m to €14.32m.

The group's cost of sales last year increased from €18.94m to €19m while its administrative expenses increased from €28.9m to €30.1m.

The group recorded a post- tax profit of €10.1m after paying corporation tax of €829,651. The group's fixed assets had a book value of €123.2m at the end of June last.

The accounts confirm that subsequent to year end, the group underwent a restructure whereby two intermediate holding companies were introduced for commercial reasons.

The group's banks are listed as the IBRC, AIB and Ulster Bank.

Irish Independent