Writedown of property takes €50m toll on Fitzgerald's pubs group
SUPER-publican Louis Fitzgerald's company has reported massive losses after a €53m property writedown, according to accounts just filed with the Companies Office.
The writedown by Ocsas Holding Limited means the value of properties owned by family-owned company dropped from €176m to €140m. That was despite spending €25m on refurbishments over the period.
Accounts filed with the Companies Office on May 26 show that Ocsas suffered a loss of €50.5m in the year to the end of June 2010.
Once the property impact is stripped out, however, the group actually recorded operating profits in excess of €7m for the period. The 2010 operating profit is up a whopping 12 times on the previous year.
The group owns some of Dublin's most iconic pubs, including the Stags Head and Kehoe's in the city centre.
The group has 24 subsidiaries. Staff numbers dropped from 644 to 593 in 2010 and staff costs fell by more than €1m to €14.48m.
An overall fall of more than €10m in business costs was the main reason for the higher earnings, cancelling the effects of the €8m drop in turnover. Group turnover was €57m for the year down from €65m.
Earnings before interest taxation, depreciation and amortisation doubled to €13m from €6.7m over the same period.
The massive loss came after writing down €51.8m from the book value of freehold properties and €1.5m on land that the company considers a work in progress.
Even after the writedown, the properties are valued at well in excess of the group's €93m of bank loans.
The annual accounts were boosted by a dramatic cut in administration expenses and by the directors' decision to leave cash in the company.
The accounts show that the directors paid themselves €8.6m in 2009 but that dropped to €474,346 last year. An interim dividend of €562,432 was also paid.