Monday 19 November 2018

Pub barons O'Dwyers in the red on Trinity Capital

Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

DUBLIN city centre hotel Trinity Capital, which is owned by pub barons Liam and Des O'Dwyer, went into the red last year with a ?230,000 pre-tax loss, compared with a ?530,000 profit in 2001.

Turnover at the three star hotel, which also has a bar and nightclub (Fireworks) next door, fell by 23pc to ?4.8m last year.

Accounts just filed for the parent company, Capital Bars, show that the group's turnover was up by 12pc to almost ?48m, mainly due to the re-opening of Café en-Seine. The company said that while turnover was down at Fireworks and O'Dwyer's, it was up 3.9pc at the other bars and hotels.

However, there was a pre-tax loss of ?72,000 in the 12 months to the end of September, which was half the loss made in 2001. An operating profit of ?1.5m was hit by an interest bill of ?1.6m and net debt at the end of the year was almost ?25m. No dividend was paid out.

The accounts state that cost control now "represents a major imperative for our business".

The group also said that trading for the eight months to April 2003 was down 1.5pc. Reasons for this include the part closure of Break for the Border, the closure of O'Dwyers, both of which are being refurbished at present, and the sale of Major Toms, for ?2m.

The O'Dwyer brothers own several high profile bars and nightclubs around Dublin, and last year they took their company Capital Bars private. The O'Dwyers were the first to introduce superpubs to the city and pubs in the group now include Zanzibar and The George.

The group's capital expenditure for the year was ?5.3m, which included the balance for the main Cafe en-Seine refurbishment contract of ?3.5m. The Dawson St bar was extended and is now three times its original size. Major work was also carried out at Fireworks and Zanzibar.

Staff costs fell from 28.7pc to 27.9pc "as a result of reduced head office costs and improved operating efficiencies". However, the company said that there was an increase in overheads, excluding rent, of almost 3pc, to just over 23pc, mainly due to insurance and inflation. The group employed 744 people last year.

The directors' pay was ?551,000 down from ?950,000 in the previous year, while compensation for loss of office was ?88,000.

The O'Dwyers are the landlords of the various units in the Capital Bar group and rents for the majority of these totalled ?3.3m. Rents for two other bars, Coyote and Sosume, came to ?876,000.

The company said it was pursuing the sale of the leasehold on Planet Hollywood. The directors' statement said there were no plans to expand the group at present.

Accounts for Trinity Hotel and Fireworks show this operation was hit by a drop in sales in its second year in business.

Staff number fell back at the company to 77 people in 2002, which was a drop of seven staff from the bar and restaurant part of the business.

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