Nightclub boss Oliver Hughes conceded yesterday to being “pleased” as one of the country’s best-known night venues, Lillie’s Bordello, celebrates turning 21 with a profitable year.
Mr Hughes was commenting on figures showing the firm behind the celebrity haunt increased pre-tax profits to more than threefold last year.
Accounts filed by Noyfield Ltd with the Companies Registration Office show pre-tax profits at the Oliver Hughes and Liam Lahart-controlled firm increased from €118,995 to €403,177 in the 12 months to the end of Feb 2012.
The first cousins head up the Porterhouse pub business group, which employs 300 in Dublin, London, and New York.
Noyfield is the firm behind Lillie’s Bordello and the adjoining Porterhouse Central bar.
Mr Hughes said: “Lillie’s Bordello is there 21 years now. It is a challenging business environment and nightclubs are very expensive businesses to run, but I am relatively pleased with how the business is going.”
The pair purchased the Grafton St venue for a reported €5.5m in 2004.
Mr Hughes said he was satisfied with the continued success of the business.
The first Porterhouse pub opened in 1989. Mr Hughes said: “Our craft beers remain our unique selling point and they continue to appeal to customers.”
However, he hit out at the cost of running the venue. “It costs €400 every time to obtain a late-night liquor licence and last year it cost €96,000.”
He contrasted this outlay with a flat €1,500 annual fee to sell alcohol in off-licences. “The Government is losing out on huge revenues by not addressing this,” he said.
He said securing door money from the public “is getting harder and harder with late pub openings”.
The accounts show the firm’s “membership, door receipts and similar income” last year totalled €178,538.
Accumulated profits stood at €2.2m. The firm’s cash during the year increased from €80,623 to €344,050.
The profit takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €299,925. The average number of employees stood at 49 and salaries and redundancy totalled €1.1m.
The directors of the firm are listed as Mr Hughes, Mr Lahart, Frank Ennis, and David Morrissey, and last year aggregate remuneration totalled €242,339.
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