Press Up Hospitality Group reportedly paid €3.74 million to Bono, The Edge and other shareholders for the leasehold of Dublin’s Clarence Hotel, according to new accounts for the entity behind Press Up, Orsen Ltd.
As reported by The Irish Times, the accounts disclose that it had recorded earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of €9.05 million in the 17 months to the end of May of 2020.
The operators of the Clarence Hotel, Brushfield, reportedly had €675,375 in cash and owed €692,662 at the time of the purchase in June of 2019 and the Clarence Hotel reportedly contributed €2.44 million to Press Up’s revenues from the date of purchase to the end of May of 2020. The hotel reportedly recorded a net loss of €55,364 for the period.
Bono, the Edge and Paddy McKillen snr reportedly retained ownership of the hotel building following the conclusion of the deal.
The Orsen accounts reportedly cover only two and a half months of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the business. Press Up’s revenues reportedly totalled €99.6 million for the 17-month period.
Orsen’s operating profit reportedly amounted to €3.05 million after exceptional items of €2.2 million, and combined non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs of €5.99 million.
It reportedly posted a pre-tax profit of €1.27 million after making interest payments of €1.77 million. It reportedly received €1.97 million in Covid-19 State wage subsidies, according to the accounts.
Staff costs for the 17 months reportedly totalled €43.8 million, while directors’ pay reportedly increased from €209,038 to €1.03 million. Shareholder funds at the end of the last financial period reportedly totalled €7.22 million.
Commenting on the results, a spokesperson for Press Up reportedly said, “The directors are happy with the results of 2019/20. Following eight new venue openings in 2018, 2019 was a year of further expansion for the Press Up Hospitality Group, with four new venues added to the expanding portfolio.”
Press Up reportedly owed €30.9 million to banks at the end of the financial period, with a note attached to the accounts reportedly stating that, since May of 2020, the directors successfully negotiated a waiver on all of its financial covenants as well as agreeing deferrals in respect of capital repayments from March of 2020 to December of 2021.
The directors reportedly stated that 2020 “has been a difficult year for the hospitality sector as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic”.
The group had reportedly pivoted to provide takeaway and delivery capacity across key brands such as Elephant & Castle and Wowburger. The spokesperson reportedly said, “Having come through a tumultuous trading period, the group now looks ahead with positivity to the future.”
Press Up reportedly operates from 72 locations. Its expansion will continue next month with the opening of The Dean Galway, which is reportedly a 101-bed hotel off Eyre Square in Galway that will reportedly include an Elephant & Castle restaurant.
Mama Yo’s Chinese Restaurant will reportedly also open in late 2021 on Dublin’s Camden Street, and early 2022 will reportedly see the launch of Bray Central, which will reportedly be home to a multi-screen Stella Cinema, bowling, and Elephant & Castle and Wowburger outlets.
Additionally, The Business Post has revealed that a potential deal that would have involved Press Up Hospitality Group buying the premises of a former two-star Michelin restaurant in Dublin has fallen through.
As reported by The Business Post, a Press Up spokesperson said that The Greenhouse restaurant on the capital’s Dawson Street was looked at for “an existing brand” but that the purchase did not go ahead.
The restaurant reportedly said in May that it would remain temporarily closed after head chef Mickael Viljanen left to join Dublin’s Chapter One restaurant.
Prior to Viljanen’s departure, it had reportedly been advertising that it was reopening when COVID-19 pandemic-related restrictions lifted during the summer.
Greenhouse owner Eamon O’Reilly reportedly said when reached by phone last week, “I am looking for a chef for The Greenhouse. I have interviewed a couple of people and there are more to speak with.”
O’Reilly reportedly did not respond to queries about any deal with Press Up, reportedly saying that he was looking for a chef and “that is all I have to say”.
It is reportedly understood that Irish-based chefs have been approached about the position, but the role reportedly may involve searching abroad. The position would reportedly be a big one to fill, as The Greenhouse was reportedly awarded two Michelin stars in 2020 under Viljanen’s direction in the kitchen. It reportedly won its first Michelin star in 2016.
It is reportedly unclear what brand Press Up had in mind for the Dawson Street premises, which has reportedly been a fine dining establishment since it opened in 2012. A spokesperson reportedly confirmed that they were “not entering the fine dining scene”.
The company’s nearby brands include Sophie’s in the Dean hotel, which is a casual restaurant and popular brunch spot.
Across the road on Dawson Street, the group also has Peruke & Periwig, which is a speakeasy-style cocktail bar that serves food. It has reportedly also invested heavily in the takeaway market and launched a chain of luxury gyms in Dublin and Cork.
When Viljanen announced he was leaving the Greenhouse in May, O’Reilly reportedly tweeted a statement saying that it had come as a “complete surprise and shock” after a very long and successful relationship. He reportedly wished Viljanen the best and reportedly said that he would now take some time to decide how to move forward, “especially as all this has happened so suddenly”.
The restaurant reportedly tweeted at the end of July that it would be reopening over the coming months and that a press release with further details would be issued in due course.
It reportedly added, “Looking forward to welcoming you all back soon.”
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