Belfast Telegraph

KFC tycoon's firm falls into red with £6.8m pre-tax loss

By Gordon Deegan

A company used by Northern Ireland tycoon Michael Herbert to operate KFC restaurants in the Republic has plunged into the red and recorded pre-tax losses of €8.76m (£6.8m).

Accounts filed with the Republic's Companies Office by Herbel Restaurants Ltd show the firm notched up the decline after incurring exceptional costs of €4.4m (£3.4m) relating to the write-off of an inter-company loan and a €5.6m (£4.3m) loss on the disposal of fixed assets.

Mr Herbert is one of Northern Ireland's best known businessmen and operates KFC franchises across Ireland and the UK. The Republic of Ireland business recorded the losses in the 15 months to the end of March last, after notching up pre-tax profits of €737,426 (£572,163) in 2013.

The company reported the blow as revenues increased by 8.5%, going from €16.16m (£12.5m) in a 12-month period to €18.33m (£14.2m) in the 15-month period last year.

According to a report by the firm, "the directors are pleased with the performance of the company during the year".

The report added: "The directors continue to seek opportunities for investment and development that fit the company's strategic objectives."

The accounts show that the firm recorded an operating loss of €7.3m (£5.6m) last year after recording an operating profit of €2m (£1.5m) in 2013.

Interest payments totalling €1.42m further increased the loss to €8.76m (£6.8m).

The company's cost of sales increased by 12.5% from €7.4m (£5.7m) to €8.3m (£6.4m) with administrative expenses more than doubling from €6.99m (£5.4m) to €17.3m (£13.4m).

The disappointing results meant that accumulated profits reduced from €9.45m (£7.3m) to €668,337 (£518,192).

The firm's shareholder funds stood at €30m (£23.3m), including an investment revaluation totalling €29.56m (£22.9m).

Belfast Telegraph