The firm behind the Eddie Rockets-owned chain of restaurants here last year returned to profit to record pre-tax profits of €1.96m.

This followed revenues at Eddie Rockets (Ireland) Ltd increasing by 9% from €8.68m to €9.46m.

However, revenues during the second pandemic hit year were some way off the pre-pandemic revenues of €19m in 2019.

The Niall Fortune controlled company recorded the €1.96m pre-tax profit after booking a non-cash €976,081 impairment reversal and receiving other operating income of €1.025m.

The "other operating income" was made up of Government grants of €692,768, insurance claims receivable of €266,000 and €66,514 in net rents receivable.

The €1.96m pre-tax profit followed a pre-tax loss of €3m in 2020 that chiefly arose from non-cash impairment charges of €2.53m.

Across the island of Ireland, 40 restaurants operate under the Eddie Rockets brand. 21 are in Dublin and 19 on the rest of the island.

The profit last year also takes account of non-cash depreciation charges of €955,692.

Operating lease charges last year increased from €942,998 to €1.046m.

Numbers employed by the business last year increased from 207 to 227 and staff costs reduced from €2.5m to €1.95m when taking account of the Government Covid wage subsidy of €2.68m.

The directors state that "the trading results for the year and the financial position at the year-end were considered satisfactory".

They also state that they have considered the performance of the business subsequent to the year end and believe "that the company is well positioned to return to full trading capacity once the current period of uncertainty and restriction passes".

They state that "refinancing discussions with the group's bankers successfully concluded in early 2021 which the directors believe will provide the essential working capital needed to support the business".

The directors caution that however, notwithstanding the foregoing, they believe that the circumstances outlined still represent significant challenges and uncertainties which may cast doubt on the company and group's ability to continue as a going concern.

Therefore it may be unable to realise its assets and discharge its liabilities in the normal course of business for a period of at least one year from the date of the approval of these financial statements, they add.

"However, the Board remain optimistic that all actions that have been, and continue to be taken, will mitigate against these uncertainties," the notes add.

At the end of December last year, the firm's accumulated profits totalled €2.09m. The firm's cash funds declined from €1.7m to €1.05m.

In transactions with directors, a note states that the company advanced a total of €322,857 and received repayments of €570,304 during the year.

Directors received no pay last year from the firm.

Reporting by Gordon Deegan