Belfast developer's property group reports pre-tax loss of £5m for 2019

Ten Square Hotel, part of the Kilmona Group's hotel portfolio
Ryan McAleer

THE property investment group headed by Belfast developer Paddy Kearney recorded a pre-tax loss of just under £5 million last year, according to new accounts filed by the company.

Turnover for the Kilmona Group fell £5.9m to £23.8m for the 12 months ending June 30 2019.

The group includes the developer’s broad portfolio of hotels, warehouses, investment and rental properties.

The decline in group turnover is largely down to the difference in property deals done between 2018 and 2019. Some £11.7m was garnered from property sales by the group in 2018, compared with £3.75m last year.

Annual rental income fell by £1.75m to £6.5m at the end of June 2019, but the income from the group’s hotel interests was up by almost £4m. It earned £1.9m from warehouses and storage handling.

It left the group with a loss before tax of £4.97m.

Mr Kearney remains one of Ireland’s most high-profile developers. He was one of the so-called ‘Maple 10’ property developers, who bought shares in Anglo Irish Bank during the last financial crisis under a deal to slash businessman Sean Quinn's stake in the lender.

In 2014, US firm Cerberus acquired a £300m debt owed by the developer’s Kilmona Holdings from Nama, as part of the controversial Project Eagle deal.

The following year, Mr Kearney bought Belfast hotel Ten Square out of administration.

The hotel, located behind Belfast City Hall, is now a key component of his Loughview Leisure Group.

The hotel group recorded a turnover of £11.6m for the year ending June 30 2019, but posted a loss before tax of £464,146.

Alongside Ten Square, Loughview's portfolio includes Chimney Corner Hotel in Newtownabbey, the Loughshore Hotel in Carrickfergus and the Bad Ass Kitchen restaurant in Belfast city centre.

The leisure group’s 300 staff was one of its biggest costs last year. Total outgoing on staff was £4.2m.

Despite the pre-tax loss reported by the Kilmona Group, its directors state it has the necessary cash cover and secured lender support to meet its total on-going unsecured creditor obligations and liabilities for the medium to long term. The report, approved by the group’s board of directors in December 2019, puts the total value of the company’s investment properties at £133.5m.

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