Not all bad news as McAuliffe’s other hotel back in black

A second Xavier McAuliffe-owned Kilkenny hotel expects to record a profit in the current year.

On Friday last, the Bank of Scotland took control of Mr McAuliffe’s exclusive 137 bedroom Lyrath Estate hotel in Kilkenny by appointing a receiver on foot of an estimated bank debt of €50 million.

However, the Kerry-based self-made multi-millionaire and owner of the Spectra Group also owns the four-star Rivercourt Hotel in Kilkenny city and filings lodged with the Companies Registration Office by Gatehalf Ltd show that the hotel is projecting to make a profit in the year to the end of June.

This follows the hotel recording a loss in 2010 of €999,190 as a result of the hotel recording property write-downs of €1m.

In contrast to the Lyrath Estate, the company that operates the Rivercourt hotel has no bank borrowings.

Instead, it has an inter-company loan from Mr McAuliffe’s Photographic Laboratories and €537,148 in rent owing to XRD Partnership where Mr McAuliffe is a partner.

A note states: “The company has received assurances from McAuliffe’s Photographic Laboratories that it will not be looking for repayment of the inter-company loan for the foreseeable future and has agreed to pay off the arrears of rent over the next five years.”

The hotel employs 81 people and the abridged accounts show that the firm’s gross profit in 2010 declined by 10% from €4m to €3.6m.

The hotel made a cash profit of €176,024. However, non-cash depreciation costs of €235,227 resulted in the hotel recording an operating loss of €59,203.

This compares with an operating loss of €312,203 in 2009.

According to the directors’ report “the company made a loss for the year primarily due to the write-down in the valuation of its property located at John Street, Kilkenny”.

The directors paid an interim dividend of €18,500 to Spectra Group Holdings Ltd. Administrative expenses at the hotel in 2010 came to €3.7m compared with €4.4m in 2009. Staff costs came to €1.7m

At the end of 2010, the company had accumulated losses totalling €796,062. The firm’s cash increased during the year from €8,783 to €107,510.


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