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McDonald's block Aussie Supermac's

Plans to bring Supermac's to Australia have been delayed because fast food giant McDonald's objected to the Irish firm's name being used there.

The Irish chain - which was founded by former schoolteacher Pat McDonagh and now has over 100 outlets here - had hoped to open its first outlet in Australia this year.

The restaurant was set to be opened by an Australia-based Irish franchisee at Bondi Junction in Sydney.

But Mr McDonagh told the Herald that its move into the market has been delayed because of a trademark dispute with a "major international operator".

Filings at the Australian government trademarks office show that McDonald's objected to the registration of the Supermac's name in the country after the Irish company filed an application for its use last March.

Records show that McDonald's is set to argue its case early in March. Mr McDonagh had also been hoping to open an outlet in Perth to serve the big Irish expat community.

Supermac's - with total annual revenues of over €130m between company-owned and franchised stores - has been a big success for Mr McDonagh and his wife Una since he opened his first outlet in 1978.

Mr McDonagh started his empire by selling chips and burgers from the back of a van at the Galway Races. He now owns hotels and a chain of restaurants in the US.

Accounts just filed for Supermac's, which includes all of Mr McDonagh's businesses in Ireland, show that revenue last year jumped 10pc to just under €80m last year, while pre-tax profit soared 40pc to €7.4m.

Mr McDonagh said the core restaurant business accounted for about €60m of turnover, from company-owned outlets and fees paid by franchisees.