Paddy McKillen Jnr and Matt Ryan's Press Up Hospitality group paid out €3.74m 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 the Press Up Group, Orsen Ltd, which disclose that the group recorded earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of €9.05m in the largely pre-Covid-19 17 months to the end of May last year.

Details of the June 2019 purchase of the share capital of leasehold owner of the Clarence hotel, Brushfield Ltd are disclosed in the new accounts.

Brushfield Ltd had €675,375 in cash and owed €692,662 at the time of purchase and the Clarence hotel contributed €2.44m to Press Up group revenues from the date of purchase to the end of last May and the hotel recorded a net loss of €55,364 for the period.

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

The new Orsen accounts covers only two and a half months of the Covid-19 impact on the business and the Press Up group’s revenues totaled €99.6m for the 17 months.

The €99.6m revenues represent a 40% increase on the €70.95m revenues for the prior 12 months.

Orsen recorded operating profits in the 17 months of €3.05m after taking account of exceptional costs of €2.2m and combined non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs of €5.99m.

The operating profits were reduced to a pre-tax profit of €1.27m after interest payments of €1.77m are taken into account.

A spokeswoman for Press Up said today: "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."

The group today operates from 72 'brand locations'.

The amount owed to banks at the end of May 2020 totaled €30.93m and a note attached to the accounts states that since May of 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 ultimate controlling party of the group is Paddy McKillen Snr and the accounts disclose that a shareholder has also offered to provide support, if necessary, to ensure that the group and company has the adequate resources to continue as a going concern.

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

They state that the group has pivoted to the new reality and successfully expanded its take-away and delivery capacity across key brands such as Elephant & Castle and Wowburger.

The group continues to be in expansion mode and the spokeswoman said: "Having come through a tumultuous trading period, the group now looks ahead with positivity to the future."

The number of Elephant & Castle outlets between dine-in and take away will increase to 13 next year.

The expansion continues next month with the opening of The Dean Galway, a 101 bed boutique hotel just off Eyre Square in Galway that will also 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 further openings for the group with the launch of Bray Central, home to a multi-screen Stella Cinema, bowling, Elephant & Castle and Wowburger.

During 2020, the group opened The Dean Cork, a 114 bedroom hotel while the group’s first venture outside Ireland took place in 2020 with the opening of a Wowburger and Elephant & Castle in Doncaster in England.

With further expansion, Press Up's workforce grew to over 1,800 staff last year and staff costs for the 17 months total €43.84m.

Directors’ pay increased almost five fold from €209,038 to €1.03m.

Numbers currently employed total 1,961 and the Dean Galway will employ an additional 144.

The group’s lease costs increased sharply from €3.9m to €7.54m. The group received €1.97m in Government Covid-19 wage subsidy scheme payments.

The group’s shareholder funds at the end of last year totaled €7.22m.