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Jurys post €3.5m profit after key site sell-offs

Hotel group Jurys Doyle, posted an operating profit of almost €3.5m last year on turnover of €40m in Ireland.

The profits were achieved after the company disposed of key sites in Dublin that were home to the Burlington and Berkeley Court hotels.

Accounts just filed for the group also note that the company received dividends of almost €569m from group undertakings related to the sale of properties and restructuring.

Last year, Jurys Doyle sold seven Jurys Inns properties to financier Derek Quinlan, including the sale of its Ballsbridge site.

The transaction proceeds for Jurys Doyle amounted to over €224m, compared to a net book value for the assets of €158m.

Jurys Doyle paid redundancy costs of €5.2m during 2007.

Quinlan Private last year agreed to pay nearly €1.2bn, including debt for the portfolio of Jurys Inns hotels.

In August, Quinlan Private announced that it had sold a 50pc equity stake in the Jurys Inn business for €200m to a sovereign wealth fund controlled by the Middle Eastern government of Oman.

Jurys Doyle, which is now headed by industry veteran Bill Walshe, now controls a clutch of high-end hotels in Ireland, Britain and the US. It is currently spending about €115m on a major renovation scheme for the 11 hotels. Turnover for Jurys Doyle Hotel Group relates solely to its Irish properties.

Directors note in the latest set of accounts for Jurys Doyle Group, which is a subsidiary of Jurys Doyle Hotels (Holdings), that the key risks facing the company are changes in its cost base and a downturn in the global economy.

Strategies

They add that they have a "range of strategies" to address such risks. Earlier this year, Mr Walshe said that Jurys Doyle's primary mechanism in the face of a slump in demand would be to "sell its way out of trouble".

The Irish arm, which employed almost 700 people at the end of last December, paid €16.5m in wages and salaries last year, compared to €25.6m in 2006 when it employed over 1,000 staff.

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