Mr Chawke’s eight pubs recorded a combined turnover of around €15 million last year and yesterday he said the European Football Championships resulted in revenues being 20% down at his pubs during the competition.
The Adare, Co Limerick, native said: “The team was so pathetic against Croatia that people lost faith.”
Publicans across the country had counted upon the Euros to provide a major boost to business, but Mr Chawke said: “They were a major disappointment. People didn’t flock to the pub as we thought they would and they watched the games at home. The Euros didn’t work for us at all. It upset our business.”
Mr Chawke — who lost a leg during an armed robbery at his Goat Grill pub in 2003 — made his comments as new filings show three of his firms, Miltown Inns Ltd, Alazwar Ltd and College Inns Ltd recording profits last year.
Mr Chawke’s group of pubs employs over 300 people and he said: “We are running the business to pay our staff at the moment. We are holding it together. We haven’t let any staff go.”
Figures for Miltown Inns Ltd show that pre-tax profits dropped by 32% to €158,248 in the 12 months to the end of May last year, while separate abridged figures for Alazwar Ltd show that it increased its accumulated profits last year from €683,242 to €701,184.
Abridged figures for a third Chawke pub firm, College Inns Ltd, show that accumulated profits increased from €11,981 to €191,548 in the 12 months to the end of April 2011.
Mr Chawke said that there has been “no great uplift” in business this year.
Mr Chawke said: “We’re in profit, but not as profitable as we would like to be. We are working very hard and keeping our heads down and keeping the bank off our back. We have great staff and, hopefully, we will be in a good position when the economy turns.”
In 2005, Mr Chawke was involved in the most expensive pub sale in Irish history when he paid €22m for the Old Orchard Inn and site at Rathfarnham, Dublin