Irish group to operate Starbucks stores


ENTERTAINMENT Enterprises, the entertainment and restaurant group run by brothers Colum and Ciarán Butler, has taken on the operation of all 27 Starbucks outlets in the Republic.

Up to yesterday, the brothers operated 10 of the outlets under licence, with the US multinational directly operating the rest.

The chain had just 19 stores in the Republic a year ago. It is intended that another will open shortly in the Stillorgan Shopping Centre, Dublin, also to be run by Entertainment Enterprises.

Staff were told the news yesterday. Starbucks-operated stores employ 210 staff. The number employed at the other stores is not known. There will be no job losses arising from the development.

“The business in Ireland is on a strong footing and we see considerable potential to create jobs and growth by working with the Entertainment Enterprises group,” said Starbucks’ UK and Ireland managing director, Kris Engskov.

He said the brothers have the local expertise, track record, knowledge and skill to grow the business further.

“We’re long-term partners of Starbucks and are very excited to be taking on the expanded licensee role,” the brothers said in a short statement.

“Over the years, we have built up a strong understanding of the Starbucks business and culture, and coupled with our knowledge of the Irish market, we believe that we are in a particularly strong position to grow Starbucks in Ireland in the coming years.”

The most recent accounts for Starbucks in Ireland show it turned around its fortunes in the year to October 2011, making a €490,000 profit compared with a €3.3 million loss the previous year.

Accounts for Starbucks Coffee Company (Ireland) Ltd show the coffee chain secured turnover of €15.4 million from its 17 company-owned stores in the Republic during the period, down from €16.2 million the year before.

It cut sales costs and administrative expenses, and reversed an earlier impairment on assets, helping it to a pretax profit of €525,000.

The company also earned royalties and licence fees of €990,000 in 2011, up from €875,000 the previous year.

Entertainment Enterprises (Irl) is an unlimited company owned by an Isle of Man company, Martinet Ltd, which is in turn owned by the Butlers.

The group’s subsidiaries include the Leisureplex cinema companies and two property rental companies, all based at the Leisureplex Retail Park in Malahide, Co Dublin.

The brothers are also involved in the running of the TGI restaurant chain. Recently, a new TGI outlet and a new Starbucks outlet were opened by them in the former Bewley’s premises on Westmoreland Street, Dublin.

Monvera Ltd, an investment holding company that forms part of the Entertainment Enterprises group, has two extant mortgages with Anglo Irish Bank, now part of the State-owned Irish Bank Resolution Corporation.

Starbucks has approximately 700 outlets in the UK, most of which are operated by the multinational.