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Business woes continue for Richard Quirke with pre-tax losses of €14m


Businessman Richard Quirke

Businessman Richard Quirke

Businessman Richard Quirke

Business woes continued last year for casino and arcade owner, Richard Quirke as his business recorded pre-tax losses of €14m.

Mr Quirke (75), Rosanna Davison’s father-in-law, was already left reeling by an alleged €2.56m fraud perpetrated on his business that was first uncovered by himself and another director in December 2020.

Now, new accounts for the group that operates the businessman’s Dr Quirkey’s Good Time Emporium show that a Covid-19 enforced closure contributed to pre-tax losses increasing almost nine fold from €1.6m in 2020 to €14m in the 12 months to the end of June last.

In the third set of Dublin Pool and Juke Box Company Ltd annual accounts lodged with the Companies Office in recent weeks, they show that the firm recorded the losses as the business sustained an €8m or 84pc revenue hit as revenues collapsed from €9.58m to €1.5m in the 12 months to the end of June last.

The directors state that the casino and amusement machine business was shut from the spring of 2020 to December 2021 due to Covid-19 lockdown measures “wiping out its main source of income”.

The loss last year resulted in the group’s balance sheet absorbing a big hit with shareholder funds reducing from €31.93m to €17.85m.

The new accounts show that there was no further cost to the alleged fraud for the 12 months to the end of June last - the alleged fraud cost the group €543,758 in 2020, €1.017m in 2019 and €1.009m in 2018.

In response to the alleged fraud, the business implemented a wide-ranging and extensive programme of governance and operational improvements at all levels within the organisation.

However, the firm’s interest bill on overdue tax continued to mount in 2021 and now stands at €1.59m across four years.

As a result of the alleged fraud, a forensic examination by company-hired external financial consultants of the company’s systems led to the identification of unpaid taxation and interest liabilities.

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The new accounts show that the interest bill on overdue tax last year was €645,415 following €946,952 under the same heading over the previous three years.

The Covid-19 enforced closure of the business coincided with employee numbers reducing by 30 from 86 to 56.

Staff costs reduced from €6.18m to €1.9m that included €381,133 for ‘staff compensation for loss of office’ last year.

Directors’ pay reduced sharply from €213,000 to €53,250.

The business recorded an operating loss last year of €4.95m and this followed operating losses of €951,173 in 2020.

The €14m loss last year takes account of the €8.4m property write-down made up of a write-down in land and buildings at €8.03m and €432,060 in investment properties.

The loss also takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €1.53m and a €1.66m loss on the disposal of tangible assets.

Sounding a more upbeat note, the directors state that “now that Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, the directors are confident that the business will full recover and result in strong liquidity”.

The group’s cash funds reduced from €3.93m to €3.23m.

A note attached to the accounts - signed off on May 13 - states that the company “is currently the subject of a Revenue investigation, the outcome of which is uncertain at present”.

The directors state that they have provided for additional liabilities and interest in the financial statements but have not provided for penalties that might arise.

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