By Gordon Deegan
The largest entity in the Louis Fitzgerald pubs and hotels group increased profits by a modest 2% to €8m last year but said it is well placed to tap an upturn in business.
The Fitzgerald group’s Burtse Ltd includes many of its key pubs and hotel properties and counts the Quays Bar, the Big Tree, and Kehoe’s in Dublin as amongst its best performers.
It also operates The Stag’s Head and the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel.
Group revenues rose 5% in the 12 months to end of June from €60.47m a year earlier.
Staff numbers rose to 706 from 612, while staff costs rose to almost €15.4m from €14.1m.
The two directors of Burtse Ltd are Louis Fitzgerald and Helen Fitzgerald. Their pay increased slightly to €435,962. The company also paid a dividend of €60,000 during the year.
According to the directors’ report, the company acted to cut costs and introduced “improved working practices and efficiencies and developed new marketing strategies to generate extra business” that will mean the business will remain profitable.
“This will also ensure that when the current economic climate improves the group will be a strong position to take immediate advantage of improved circumstances,” according to the directors.
The business posted an operating profit of €11.7m but interest charges of €3.75m cut pre-profits to €8m. The firm paid corporation taxes to Revenue of €1.44m, which meant it posted a net profit of €6.57m.
The business had shareholder funds of €10.9m and its cash pile increased from €11.25m to €17.33m.
The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €3.5m. The accounts also confirmed that the group recorded a non-cash write-down of €2.4m on its property.
At the end of June, Burtse owed €76.63m to group companies and €5m in bank loans.
The company has put a book value of €113m on its tangible assets.
However, the accounts also show that in a so-called post-balance sheet event the group underwent a restructuring under which a number of companies were transferred into the group “for commercial reasons”.