Belfast Telegraph

Company run by KFC tycoon loses over £25m in one year

By John Mulgrew

A firm run by KFC tycoon Michael Herbert has suffered losses of more than £25m in a year which saw one of its major assets enter receivership.

Donegall Place Investments, which is headed by Michael Herbert, posted the substantial losses in its latest set of accounts up to September 30, 2014.

Turnover also fell, dropping by more than a third to £10.4m.

The portfolio had included a number of major developments, including Bloomfield Shopping Centre in Bangor.

But receivers were appointed to the centre in 2014.

Agency Colliers was appointed by Ulster Bank to manage the centre last year, though neither the bank or agents would comment on the details surrounding the deal.

But it's understood Bloomfield is still in the hands of Colliers, which continues to manage the centre.

It's not clear whether the retail hub will end up on the market in the near future.

Bloomfield is the main centre in Bangor and retail chains such as Tesco, River Island, Boots, and Marks & Spencer all act as a major pull to shoppers. It continues to trade as normal.

Donegall Place Investments also includes a wholly-owned subsidiary which oversees shopping centre Bow Street Mall in Lisburn.

In a report included within the latest accounts, the company said the director "is satisfied with the rental returns achieved on the properties held by the group".

"The group, like many property companies, is facing challenging times in the current economic down turn."

And in relation to Bloomfield Shopping Centre, it says that the property was "treated as disposed of during the year and it is now under the control of the fixed charge receiver".

More than 95% of Donegall Place Investments' main turnover comes from rental receipts and service charges, its accounts said.

In 2014 the valuation of property assets fell by £76m.

Michael Herbert is also the owner of the KFC franchise here, but operates the business under a separate limited company.

He is also a director of a number of other companies.

Mr Herbert operates Europe's largest KFC franchise - which reported pre-tax profits of £7m in its last available set of accounts.

Belfast Telegraph