Expansion costs eat into profits at part of Press Up

Paddy McKillen Jnr’s hospitality group opened 12 businesses over eight sites in 2018

Expansion costs at part of the country's fastest growing hospitality group, Paddy McKillen jnr's Press Up group last year put a lid on returns, with pre-tax profits halving to €887,929.

New accounts filed by Orsen Ltd with the Companies Office show profits at this part of Press Up fell as revenues increased by 22.6 per cent from €57.86 million to €70.95 million.

The group last year recorded earnings before interest, depreciation, tax and amortisation of €11.99 million, which represents a 54 per cent increase on the 2017 figure of €7.4 million. However, reinvestment of most of this into expanding the group reduced the returns for shareholders.

Press Up opened 12 new businesses across eight new sites last year.


In notes to the Orsen accounts, directors say “all the businesses in the group traded well in 2018, with increased profitability across the board”.

Numbers employed increased by 63 per cent, or 526, from 839 to 1,365 as staff costs went up from €18.73 million to €23.83 million.

The top performers within Orsen’s portfolio were The Dean, Union Cafe Mount Merrion and Angelina’s in Dublin, as well as the new venues which opened in 2018, notably The Grayson, also in Dublin, which exceeded initial revenue projections following a strong Christmas period.

The new openings last year also included the Stella diner, Isabelle's and an Elephant & Castle restaurant in Rathmines, again all in Dublin.


The accounts for Orsen Ltd include the revenues of Mr McKillen jnr's Wagamama restaurants here along with the revenues at the Everleigh Garden nightclub on Dublin's Harcourt St and the Workman's Club in Temple Bar.

Orsen last year paid out of a dividend of €2.7 million to shareholders.

The group recorded an operating profit of €6.4 million before interest payments of €1.46 million and exceptional items totalling €4.12 million. The exceptional items are comprised of pre-opening expenses totalling €2.63 million; operations and debt restructuring of €1 million and other costs of €467,060.

Directors’ pay at the company last year remained at the same level of €209,038, made up of €150,000 in remuneration and €59,038 in pension payments.

At the end of last year, the group owed €121,376 to Mr McKillen jnr and €566,676 to Paddy McKillen snr.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times