Doonbeg in the rough with loss of €20m

The Doonbeg golf resort recorded its biggest ever annual pre-tax loss of €20.4m before its owners appointed a receiver that resulted in the resort’s recent sale to US billionaire Donald Trump.

Doonbeg in the rough with loss of €20m

New accounts filed to the Companies Office by Doonbeg Golf Club Ltd show the firm recorded the pre-tax loss in 2012, chiefly arising from impairments of fixed assets and provisions against debtors totalling €19m.

The firm’s largest single annual loss coincided with the resort recording a profit of €911,000 on an operational basis before non-cash depreciation costs. The resort’s operating losses after depreciation narrowed sharply from €2.5m to €830,809.

The firm recorded the €20.4m pre-tax loss after impairment of fixed assets totalled €10.9m; provision against group debtors totalling €7.7m and provision of €745,000 in relation to the winding-up of the firm.

The firm wrote down the course value by €3.7m and the value of buildings by €9.2m. The 2012 loss was a seven-fold rise on the €2.77m loss in 2011.

Luke Charleton and David Hughes of EY were appointed as receivers to the firm in January and the accounts state that the directors intend to liquidate the company subsequent to the sale of assets.

However, the accounts reveal that a number of individuals who purchased properties at the resort have initiated legal proceedings against the firm for the repayment of all amounts due under rental guarantee agreements. A number of cases are listed for Ennis Circuit Court later this month. The directors state they have availed of legal support and advice to defend and deal with these actions.

The firm’s former US owners, Coral Canary Land (CCL), last year carried out a strategic review and examined proposals to restructure operations to optimise the position of creditors. It found that while “the group could trade profitably operationally”, it was “unable to continue to fund payments to the owners of properties with rental guarantees or to fund loan repayments to its principal bankers”.

The accounts show that at the end of December 2012, the firm had a shareholders’ deficit of €71.9m. The firm’s net debt at the end of 2012 tolled €77m owed to connected firms. The firm also owed €2.15m in bank loans and overdrafts.

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