The Irish controlled group that is behind the development of a 161.5 acre estate in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter has suffered a £4 million drop in pre-tax profit according to latest financial accounts.
The accounts show that pre-tax profit fell to a little over £6 million in 2017.
However, Titanic Property Development Limited (TPDL) – which is under the joint control of businessman Dermot Desmond and Pat Doherty, the founder of Harcourt Developments– also declared a £24.9 million hike in turnover during the same financial period.
TPDL’s turnover jumped from £10.3 million in 2016 to more than £35.3 million in the 12 months to December 2017.
The improved turnover is attributed in part in the accounts to the sale of assets which were sold as part of a major restructuring of TPDL’s operations during 2017.
Previously all of its assets had been held in one single group of companies – the Titanic Investments Limited group – but last year this was divided into three groups to “maximise commercial efficiency and optimise long term planning”.
During 2017 TPDL also refinanced its debt facilities chiefly with Danske Bank which provided senior debt facilities of £8.9 million and also with Bottin International Investments –controlled by Dermot Desmond – which provided subordinated debt of more than £15 million for a five year period.
In the accounts the group’s directors said that the refinancing process provided “the financial foundation” for TPDL to plan and implement further development activity at Titanic Quarter “with renewed confidence and vigour”.
Following the group restructure TPDL drew down shareholder loans totalling more than £26.2 million.
The latest financial statements also show that the group ended the year with net liabilities totalling over £20.9 million.
In a strategic report contained in the accounts the directors of TPDL state that more than £425 million has been invested in Titanic Quarter to date and that the waterfront site is currently home to more than 100 businesses and, thanks primarily to Titanic Belfast, attracts more than 1 million visitors every year.
The directors estimated that the development land bank in the Titanic Quarter was worth more than £20.5 million last year and have stressed in the 2017 accounts that the group intends to “accelerate and expand” its activity in the quarter.
They have highlighted that future projects include the proposed £30 million Olympic House office development which could accommodate 2,000 staff and the Hamilton Dock Hotel development which has been agreed for sale subject to contract.