Latest accounts for Supermacs HoldingsLtd showed the increase in profits, while revenues jumped by 10% to €72.65m.
The business — split between owner-operated and franchised outlets — has 105 restaurants across the country employing 2,500 people.
Speaking yesterday, Supermacs founder and managing director, Pat McDonagh, said that 2012 “was a decent performance in a difficult economic environment”.
He added that 2013 “will be slightly better than last year” in terms of revenues and profits.
“There is more confidence creeping back into the market and the Gathering has been a boost,” he said.
Mr McDonagh said that the horsemeat controversy of this year “actually helped our business in an unusual way, as our policy of using only 100% Irish beef and chicken ensured that there was no dip in business”.
He said that the business did see fewer than 10% of customers migrating from eating beef to chicken, but that this trend lasted less than one week.
The former schoolteacher said that he has reached verbal agreement with two Irish emigrants to set up franchised Supermacs operations in Sydney and Perth, Australia.
“We are pretty optimistic that the new outlets will go ahead and we are aiming to have the outlets open for June or July of next year with an outlet to open in Melbourne a little later.”
He added that plans for the company’s “most expensive ever project” — the Barack Obama Plaza at Moneygall, Co Offaly — is on course to open by the middle of next year.
The plaza, costing over €5m, will include a Supermacs outlet and also consists of a park that will have statues of Barack and Michelle Obama.
The venture will involve the creation of 60 jobs.
Mr McDonagh said that the business has changed dramatically in recent years — where there is less business at night but increased day-time and evening-time business has made up for the late-night decline.
The numbers directly employed by Supermacs last year increased from 710 to 899, with staff costs increasing from €15.2m to €16.4m.