Harcourt Development group returns to pretax profit in 2022

Pat Doherty group confirms sale of six Irish shopping centres

The five-star Lough Eske Castle hotel in Co Donegal. Photograph: Bryan O'Brien/The Irish Times

Pat Doherty’s Harcourt Development Group recorded a pretax profit of €7.6 million in 2022 as revenues climbed by 37 per cent to €129.3 million. The year before, it recorded a pretax loss of €59.8 million.

Accounts just filed for parent company Marzocco UC show operating profits at the business increased by 50 per cent to €39.1 million during the year, but this was reduced to €7.6 million at the pretax level, mostly due to interest payments of €29.5 million.

In the accounts, signed off on December 22nd last, a note states that at the time of the approval of the financial statements, “all of the group’s operating businesses are trading strongly”.

The note adds that during 2023, the group “has continued to trade positively whilst managing the inflationary pressures in relation to energy costs, interest rates and construction materials”.

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Harcourt sold its six shopping centres in the State last July after they were put on the market in 2022, the notes confirm.

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An exit agreement was concluded simultaneously with the Harcourt Development Group’s main lender, Luxembourg-based EPF, and the exit agreement effectively released all of EPF’s remaining security in the Harcourt Group, with the exception of the Bahamas.

The residual EPF debt is in the process of being transferred to a related party, and “this is a very positive development”, according to the accounts.

The Marzocco group is headquartered in Dublin and has interests in Ireland, Europe, the US and the Caribbean.

The group operates five hotels, including the five-star Lough Eske Castle hotel in Co Donegal and the Carlisle Bay in Antigua. All hotels performed strongly in 2022 “in terms of revenue and profitability, and this trend has conned into 2023″, the accounts state.

Directors noted that hotel occupancy levels in 2022 had returned to pre-pandemic levels, and the group is “now actively planning upgrade and extensions projects for several hotels to cater for the additional demand”.

On the property side, directors said the group completed a project to convert vacant office space into 86 residential units and sold the units in Park West in Dublin to Tuath Housing Association in Q4 2022.

Directors’ pay increased by 31 per cent to €668,198.

The bulk of the group’s income – €113.6 million – was generated in the Republic.

The group had a shareholders’ deficit of €365.6 million at the end of 2022 that included accumulated losses of €358.54 million.

Cash funds declined from €19 million to €11.59 million.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times