Business Irish

Thursday 23 November 2017

Insomnia coffee-shop chain slashes its losses


John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Coffee-shop chain Insomnia -- the business partly owned by 'Dragons' Den' panellist Bobby Kerr -- substantially narrowed its bottom-line losses last year even in the face of a tough trading environment.

Accounts for the company behind the chain -- Redcoral Catering -- show that the business notched up an after-tax loss of €121,500 last year compared to a loss of nearly €1.8m in 2009.

It generated an operating profit of €132,000 last year compared to a €368,000 loss the previous year. The company's profit before tax, interest and depreciation was also up in 2010, to €1.27m from €833,000 a year earlier.

Redcoral shouldered depreciation and amortisation charges of €1.1m last year compared to €1.2m in 2009.

Insomnia is Ireland's biggest coffee-shop chain, operating about 60 outlets, including standalone units and those located in shops such as Spar.

The directors of the firm, including Mr Kerr, said that during 2010 the company continued to face tough market conditions.

"However, the necessary steps have been taken to improve operating performance through cost efficiencies and margin controls, as well as continued focus on service levels based on understanding the requirements of our customers," the company noted.

In 2008, Icelandic investment group Penninn acquired a 51pc stake in Insomnia with intentions of rolling the brand out across northern Europe.

That deal valued Insomnia at about €16m.

Last year, Mr Kerr and other Insomnia owners Harry O'Kelly and BWG shareholder John Clohisey re-acquired that stake from Icelandic bank Kaupthing for substantially less than what was paid for it. The three businessmen each own one-third of Insomnia.

Mr Kerr is also a shareholder in Bang restaurant in Dublin, which was one of the capital's most high-profile eateries during the boom. Mr Kerr and two other investors took over the business in April after it went bust under its previous ownership.

Irish Independent

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