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High-end travel firm says it kept all staff despite €550,000 pandemic hit


Kanye West and Kim Kardashian on their honeymoon in Ireland

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian on their honeymoon in Ireland

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian on their honeymoon in Ireland

The go-to travel firm for celebrities and the rich enjoying holidays here last year recorded losses of €551,021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic .

That is according to new accounts for Adams & Butler Ltd which show that the losses of over half a million euro for 2020 follow a post-tax profit of €73,447 in 2019.

The firm in the past arranged the itinerary of Kanye West’s and Kim Kardashian’s low-profile honeymoon here and owner, Siobhan Byrne Learat, said: “I am very positive – I know we lost a lot of money last year.”

In an interview, Ms Byrne Learat said: “We kept all our staff. We lost over €550,000 and they were reserves. I am the owner of the company so basically it was my money.”

The company paid out a dividend last year of €567,031 and the dividend pay-out along with the losses resulted in the company having an accumulated loss of €45,630 at the end of last year after having accumulated profits of €1m at the end of 2019.

A note attached to the accounts states that Ms Byrne Learat “is confident that the company will return to profit in 2021 as restrictions ease and people resume travel”.

Ms Byrne Learat said the Irish market has rebounded since August and she said Adams & Butler recently organised a holiday here for a four-strong American group who spent €220,000 in one week.

Ms Byrne Learat said the group travelled by helicopter during their time here and stayed at the likes of the five- star Ashford Castle “and had a lot of private experiences”.

“These clients are cash rich and time poor,” she said.

“I think 2022 will be an amazing year. I think people will spend a hell of a lot more than they have before.”

She added: “We are very positive about next year and 2023 as we have lots of future bookings coming in.”

The firm last year maintained all its staff and received €97,005 in Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) payments.

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The company received other State grants of €59,118 that included the Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS) and a Covid-19 Rent Rebate scheme. Ms Byrne Learat stated that all staff are back on full pay “and we have promoted some people and have three new managers”.

She remarked: “As soon as Covid hit, we decided that we wouldn’t be like other people and hide under a stone and lick our wounds. We were going to actively manage it. We raised the awareness of our brand and our reputation.”

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