€25m deficit for Manor Park group


THE COMPANY that owns late taoiseach Charles Haughey’s former estate had a near €25 million deficit last year, according to the latest figures.

Manor Park Homebuilders group, which bought the 200-acre Abbeville estate in Dublin from Mr Haughey in 2003, lost €14 million in the 12 months ended March 31st, compared with an €8.6 million gain the previous year.

Its balance sheet shows that its liabilities outstripped its assets by €24.75 million. Its liabilities included net debt of €134 million.

The bulk of the debt related to a €147 million loan that the company borrowed to buy out DCC, then led by Jim Flavin, in 2007, for €181 million. At the time, the Moran family owned 51 per cent of the company and DCC the balance. DCC, a listed industrial holdings company, had at one point offered to buy out the Morans for over €200 million.

The company also owed its parent, Morvest, €12 million.

Manor Park is part of an overall group, owned by a firm called Morvest and controlled by Joe Moran and his family. Morvest’s shareholders’ funds were €1 million in the red on March 31st, the firm’s balance-sheet date.

Mr Moran pointed out yesterday that a Manor Park trading subsidiary, King of the Castle, had profits of almost €10 million, which cut group losses to €4 million.

He added that the group had to make a once-off €5 million payment to exit a deal with CIÉ in Kent Station in Cork, which in effect meant that overall trading profits were €1 million.

The group builds and sells new homes, and in its last financial year, sold around 138 units, which Mr Moran said yesterday was “reasonably good”.

King of the Castle, which does much of the trading, had a turnover of €20 million during the 12-month period, which is Manor’s financial year. That firm had net assets of €10 million on March 31st.

Mr Moran said it expects to sell fewer homes during the current financial year, but hopes that sales will still top 100 units.

Much of the business it did was in Ongar, a site in Dublin. Mr Moran said the company intends revaluing the individual sites it has in that area. Their current book values are in the region of €6,000 to €12,000, depending on location, but these estimates are over a decade old.