Profits at firm owned by Northern Ireland magnate behind KFC franchises shrink 20% to £5.5m
The KFC franchise business operated by Belfast man Michael Herbert recorded pre-tax profits of £5.59m last year.
New accounts filed by the rich list regular's Herbel Ltd show that the firm achieved revenues of £24.28m in the UK in the 15 months to the end of March 31 last, compared to £23.5m during the previous 12 months.
The profit figure represents a 20% decrease on the £7m pre-tax profits recorded during the previous year.
The accounts show that the firm recorded the revenues between £22.45m in KFC sales and rental income of £1.83m.
The directors' report indicated that "the KFC franchise business continues to trade strongly despite the economic downturn".
The firm recorded an operating profit of £1.1m, and it enjoyed an exceptional gain of £5.4m relating to loans owed by the businesses to other group companies that were written off.
The profit last year takes account of £795,000 in non-cash impairment of fixed assets, non-cash depreciation of fixed assets of €848,351 and €410,120 in amounts written off in investments.
The profit last year also takes account of net interest payments of £388,950.
The report stated: "Overall, the director is satisfied with the company's results. The company is well-placed to deal with any uncertainties that may arise due to the current economic downturn.
"And in response to this, the director is involved in prudent business planning and working closely with the company's stakeholders."
On the firm's future developments, the director stated that the business "continues to seek opportunities for retail fast food operations and property investment and development that fit with the company's strategic objectives".
The firm's shareholder funds increased to £20.5m, and that figure included accumulated profits of £14.59m.
The company's cash last year decreased sharply from £543,431 to £83,707.
Numbers employed by the firm also decreased from 482 to 443, with staff costs remaining static at £5.1m.
The directors' report stated that the company holds a substantial property portfolio throughout the UK, with a book value of £22.98m.
A significant number of these properties are occupied by leading retail chains and are situated in prime locations.