Cash & Carry Kitchens founders Eamonn and Teresa O'Rourke have sold out of the business they established almost 40 years ago, the Irish Independent has learned.
Niall Cuthbert, who has for many years been a majority shareholder in the Cork-based business, now fully owns the firm, which last year generated turnover of more than €28m.
Financial details of the deal weren't disclosed, but Mr Cuthbert confirmed that he is now sole owner and that the O'Rourkes have stepped down as directors.
Accounts for Cash & Carry Kitchens - which reflects the retail side of the business - show that it generated turnover of just under €28m in 2018 and a nearly €389,000 operating profit. It employed more than 80 people that year.
Mr Cuthbert said that turnover had increased marginally last year.
Just as the Celtic Tiger years drew to a close, Mr O'Rourke was estimated to have a amassed a €76m fortune from his kitchens business. Trophies of his wealth included a €1.5m Bugatti Veyron sports car.
During the downturn, a connected company - ORM, which manufactures the kitchens - shouldered large non-cash impairments totalling at least €35m over a two-year period.
But the business survived when many others in the construction and renovation- related sector did not.
The 2018 accounts for Cash & Carry Kitchens show that it had retained earnings of €3.3m at the end of the year.
Mr Cuthbert said it has proved itself to be "resilient" in the face of challenges. He said that the O'Rourkes hadn't been involved for some time in the day-to-day running of the business and had made a decision to retire from it.
He added that trading in the year-to-date is behind where it was in 2019 due to the Covid pandemic, but that leaving aside the second quarter, the business has been performing in line with expectations and continues to do so.
"Given where we are with Covid, the performance is better than where we might have expected to be now when the lockdown started," he said.
Mr Cuthbert added that judging from the number of enquiries from customers in recent weeks, activity for the company should be buoyant for the remainder of the year.
Irish households amassed considerable savings during the lockdown. Figures from the Central Bank last month showed that consumers stuffed billions of euro into their bank and credit union accounts between April and June.
Cash & Carry Kitchens deals exclusively with retail customers rather than developers. The company operates 15 showrooms across the country, five of which are in Co Dublin.
Mr Cuthbert said that towards the end of last year, consumer sentiment had fallen due to Brexit and it remains something that could weigh on buyers into 2021.
It was one of 183 retailers that shared a total of €6.5m in funding last month from a scheme established by the Government to spur online trading during the Covid crisis. The average grant made under the scheme was €35,000. The retailers are expected to use the funds to strategically enhance their online sales capabilities.