Pettitt's group records growth across all sectors

By Esther Hayden

Cormac Pettitt (right) and group managing director Philip Gavin at the Talbot Suites, purchased and developed with a €10m investment.
Cormac Pettitt (right) and group managing director Philip Gavin at the Talbot Suites, purchased and developed with a €10m investment.

The iconic Pettitt group enjoyed a six per cent rise in revenue in 2015 to €120.5 million.

The family owned group which is run by Cormac Pettitt recorded growth across its six supermarkets, five hotels, three pubs, farming and other property interests.

While most of the properties belonging to the group are based in County Wexford it also owns hotels in Cork, Carlow and the Stillorgan Park Hotel in Dublin.

Recently filed 2015 accounts for Torski, the group holding company, show the Pettitt group now employs close to 1,000 staff, after increasing employment numbers by about 5 per cent over the year.

Profits at the group rose by about 50 per cent to €3.1 million. The group which has bank loans of about €22 million, has profit reserves of approximately €57 million.

The group's supermarkets, including two in Wexford town, and outlets in Gorey, Enniscorthy, Arklow and Athy, generated three-quarters of total revenues. Grocery sales increased marginally over the year, as fierce competition kept a lid on the sector's growth.

As well as the Stillorgan Park and the Talbot, the Pettitt group also owns the Midleton Park and Oriel House hotels in and around Cork, and the Talbot in Carlow. Sales in the division were up 17 per cent in 2015, the first full year of ownership of the two Cork properties, for which the group paid €12 million in 2014.

Growth at the family's 500-bed hotels division is likely to have grown in 2016, a record year for Irish tourism.

The group also invested €10 million this summer in an expansion of the division, opening a 70-unit aparthotel, Talbot Suites, a few doors up from its flagship on the quays.

It bought the scheme out of receivership after it had sat empty and unfinished for almost a decade from the tail-end of the boom.

The family's Sleedagh Farms agri-business, which supplies meats to several of the supermarkets, breached the €1 million sales barrier during 2015.

Des Pettitt, one of the best-known business figures in Wexford who built up the group, now operates as group chairman.

His son, 37-year-old chartered accountant Cormac, is managing director of the group. Des's wife Bernadette is the third director of Torski.

The accounts show that the group's directors shared €1.2 million last year. The highest-paid director, who is not named, was paid almost €750,000.

Wexford People

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