Press Up paid €3.74m to buy Clarence Hotel lease from Bono, the Edge and others

Latest accounts show Orsen made pre-tax profit of €1.3m in 17 months to end of May 2020

Press Up Hospitality, the group run by Paddy McKillen jnr and Matt Ryan, paid €3.74 million to Bono, The Edge and other shareholders for the leasehold of the four-star Clarence Hotel in Dublin's Temple Bar.

That is according to new accounts for Orsen Ltd, the entity behind Press Up, which disclose that it had recorded earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation of €9.05 million in the 17 months to the end of May last year.

Brushfield, the operators of the Clarence Hotel, had €675,375 in cash and owed €692,662 at the time of the purchase in June 2019 and the Clarence Hotel contributed €2.44 million to Press Up's revenues from the date of purchase to the end of May 2020. The hotel recorded a net loss of €55,364 for the period.

Bono, the Edge and Paddy McKillen snr, father of Paddy McKillen jnr, retained ownership of the hotel building following the conclusion of the deal.


The Orsen accounts cover only 2½ months of the Covid-19 impact on the business. Press Up’s revenues totalled €99.6 million for the 17-month period.

Orsen’s operating profit amounted to €3.05 million after exceptional items of €2.2 million, and combined non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs of €5.99 million.

It posted a pre-tax profit of €1.27 million after making interest payments of €1.77 million. It received €1.97 million in Covid-19 State wage subsidies, according to the accounts.

Staff costs for the 17 months totalled €43.8 million, while directors’ pay increased from €209,038 to €1.03 million. Shareholder funds at the end of the last financial period totalled €7.22 million.

Commenting on the results, a spokeswoman for Press Up said: “The directors are happy with the results of 2019/20. Following eight new venue openings in 2018, 2019 was a year of further expansion for the Press Up Hospitality Group, with four new venues added to the expanding portfolio.”


Press Up owed €30.9 million to banks at the end of the financial period, with a note attached to the accounts stating that since May 2020, the directors successfully negotiated a waiver on all of its financial covenants as well as agreeing deferrals in respect of capital repayments from March 2020 to December 2021.

The directors state that 2020 “has been a difficult year for the hospitality sector as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

The group had pivoted to provide takeaway and delivery capacity across key brands such as Elephant & Castle and Wowburger.“Having come through a tumultuous trading period, the group now looks ahead with positivity to the future,” the spokeswoman said.

Press Up operates from 72 locations. Its expansion continues next month with the opening of The Dean Galway, a 101-bed hotel off Eyre Square in Galway that will include an Elephant & Castle restaurant.

Mama Yo's Chinese Restaurant will also open in late 2021 on Dublin's Camden Street, while early 2022 will see the launch of Bray Central, home to a multi-screen Stella Cinema, bowling, and Elephant & Castle and Wowburger outlets.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times