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Copper Face Jacks nightclub firm pays out €45.95m dividend

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Copper Face Jacks nightclub in Harcourt Street, Dublin

Copper Face Jacks nightclub in Harcourt Street, Dublin

Copper Face Jacks nightclub in Harcourt Street, Dublin

The company behind Cathal Jackson’s storied Copper Face Jacks nightclub in Dublin last year paid out a dividend of €45.95 million to a connected firm owned by Mr Jackson.

New accounts for the former Garda’s Copper Face Jacks company, Breanagh Catering Ltd show that the €45.95 million dividend was declared on December 20 2018 and paid to the parent company of Breanagh Catering Ltd before January 31 2019.

Mr Jackson also owns parent company, Breanagh Catering Holdings and he last July moved to put the parent company’s financial affairs beyond public scrutiny when he obtained unlimited status for the company.

Mr Jackson - who turns 65 later this month - set up Copper Face Jacks in 1995 and he has been content to see the cash mountain at Breanagh Catering Ltd rise to €63.7 million before the €45.95 million dividend was paid.

The move to pay out the dividend came ahead of an announced sale of the Copper Face Jacks business in March of last year with industry sources at the time speculating the business might realise €40m.

However, staff were told in a company memo last November that the business was no longer for sale as Mr Jackson “has decided to stay actively involved in the business”.

The memo stated that the decision to put the nightclub up for sale was made “reluctantly”.

The nightclub business is one of the highest profile business casualties of the Covid-19 pandemic with the nightclub shut down since March.

No re-opening date for the nightclub has been pencilled in though the hotel that houses the night-club, the Jackson Court hotel on Dublin’s Harcourt Street is due to re-open its doors next Monday.

The new accounts show that the night-club’s earning power continued in the 12 months to the end of January 2019 with pre-tax profits reducing by 6 per cent from €4.09m to €3.82m.

This followed revenues dipping by 9.5pc from €14.6m to €13.2m.

A breakdown of revenues show that €11.6m was generated in nightclub and bar sales with €1.5m in accommodation sales.

Numbers employed by the business last year reduced from 196 to 183 as staff costs, including directors’ pay, reduced from €5.14m to €4.29m.

The main factor behind staff costs reducing was pay to directors, Cathal and Paula Jackson reducing by more than half from €1.28m to €554,764.

Cathal Jackson transferred his 99pc share of Breanagh Catering Ltd to the parent company on December 20th 2018 and Paula Jackson transferred her 1pc share in Breanagh Catering to the unlimited parent company on the same date.

The pre-tax profit at Breanagh Catering Ltd last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €746,245.

The dividend payout, offset by the profits last year, helped reduce the company’s accumulated profits from €75.46m to €31.75m.

The firm’s operating profit last year was €3.69m and finance income of €122,663 boosted the company’s profits to €3.82m.

The firm enjoyed post tax profits of €3.25m after paying out corporation tax of €565,028.

At the end of January 2019, the firm’s tangible assets had a book value of €12.5m.

Online Editors