Supermacs serves up rise in profits as Irish meat policy shields it from horsemeat fallout
Irish-owned Supermacs served up profits of €5.35m last year, up 6pc compared to 2011.
Trade is expected to improve again in the year ahead, according to managing director Pat McDonagh.
In an interview yesterday, the company founder said that 2012 "was a decent performance in a difficult economic environment".
Mr McDonagh said that 2013 "will be slightly better than last year" in terms of revenues and profits. He said: "There is more confidence creeping back into the market and the Gathering has been a boost."
The horsemeat controversy of this year "actually helped our business in an unusual way as our policy of using only 100pc Irish beef and chicken ensured that there was no dip in business," he said.
Less than 10pc of customers migrated from eating beef to chicken as a result of the controversy, but that effect lasted less than one week, he said.
New accounts show that Supermacs Holdings Ltd enjoyed the increase in profits after revenues increased by 10pc, from €66.3m to €72.65m, in the 12 months to the end of December last.
Between owner-operated and franchised outlets the chain has 105 restaurants across the country employing 2,500. Mr McDonagh, a former school-teacher, said that he had reached verbal agreement with two Irish emigrants to set up franchised Supermacs operations in Sydney and Perth, Australia.
He said: "We are pretty optimistic that the new outlets will go ahead and we are aiming to have the outlets open for June or July of next year with an outlet to open in Melbourne a little later."
Mr McDonagh said that plans for the business's "most expensive ever project" – the Barack Obama Plaza at Moneygall in Co Offaly – is on course to open by the middle of next year.
Mr McDonagh said that the plaza, costing in excess of €5m, would include a Supermacs outlet and also consist of a park that would have statues of Barack and Michelle Obama.
Mr McDonagh said that Supermacs now saw less business at night, but an increase in daytime and evening trading.
The group's accumulated profits last year stood at €46.93m that included cash of €15.48m.
Mr McDonagh and his wife Una are directors of the company and their fees last year dipped sharply from €151,228 to €94,234.
The figures show that the numbers directly employed by Supermacs last year increased from 710 to 899 with staff costs increasing from €15.2m to €16.4m.