A major holder of franchises for the Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) brand in Ireland and the UK has seen its holdings in the Republic plunge into the red, with losses nearing €45m.

Newly-filed accounts for Herbel Restaurants (Ireland) show exceptional costs drove the €44.7m pre-tax loss in 2015. The exceptional costs relate to the writedown in value of the firm’s property portfolio, from nearly €95m to €47.45m.

The latest accounts cover the eight months to the end of November 2015. In that time, Herbel (Ireland) recorded revenues of €9.6m. This compared to sales of €18.33m for the preceding 12-month period.

A note attached to the accounts said the firm’s loans were sold by Ulster Bank and subsequently refinanced after the balance sheet date.

It said the company, along with other group companies, has the necessary cash cover to meet its ongoing non-secured creditor obligations and liabilities for the foreseeable future.

Herbel is controlled by prominent Northern-based businessman Michael Herbert, whose business interests also include KFC franchises in the North, Scotland, south-west England and the Isle of Man.

While not the only owner of KFC outlets in the Republic, it is estimated to control around 70.

Herbel (Ireland)’s cash reduced from €625,502 to €371,297 in the latest year under review.


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