Business Irish

Tuesday 10 December 2019

O'Dwyers slash debt burden with hotel sale

The Trinity Capital Hotel was sold to US billionaire John Malone
The Trinity Capital Hotel was sold to US billionaire John Malone

Gordon Deegan

The heavily indebted O'Dwyer pub and hotel group reduced its debt burden by more than €28m last year.

The reduction in the group's net debt from €119m to €90.8m coincided with brothers Des and Liam O'Dwyer selling the group's Trinity Capital Hotel in Dublin to US telecoms billionaire John Malone.

The group's new accounts show that Liam and Des O'Dwyer's share from the sale to Mr Malone was €17.5m.

The accounts filed by the O'Dwyers' Toji Holdings show that the brothers reduced the group's overall debt burden by 23.5pc while also narrowing the business's pre-tax losses by 56pc to €1.73m.

The firm reduced its losses in spite of revenues dipping marginally from €26.29m to €26.12m last year.

A chief factor behind the fall in losses was the booking of a €3.5m property gain. The group's operating profit was €6.9m while the business incurred interest payments of €9.4m

The brothers' pub empire was broken up in 2009 when a bank receiver was appointed to three Dublin pubs - Café en Seine, The George and Howl at the Moon. The O'Dwyers' other interests include Break for the Border and the Grafton Capital Hotel in the city.

However, last month, a €15m deal was agreed for the purchase of the Cafe en Seine, the George, Howl at the Moon and the Dragon bar.

Numbers employed totalled 305 with staff costs at €7.1m.

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