Comment on Botanic Inns Administration
07 May 2013
Colin Neill, Chief Executive, Pubs of Ulster commented on the latest news about the appointment of a joint administrator to Botanic Inns Limited and its parent company Kurkova:
This is disappointing news for Botanic Inns Limited and its parent company Kurkova.
Botanic Inns is an iconic brand for the city of Belfast and right across Northern Ireland. It has always had the highest reputation and regarded as one of our Blue Chip companies and we must do all we can to help support it at this time.
We welcome the Administrators intention that the venues will continue to trade as normal and that regulars and visitors to the Botanic Inns pubs and bars should be reassured that they are opened for business.
It is no secret that factors have accumulated over the past year which has made it a very tough trading environment right across the industry. The revenue reserves normally built up by publicans during the Christmas season have suffered in the current trading environment and the negative impact of the recent flag protests compounding the problems faced by the trade.
At the end of 2012 the number of pub licenses in Northern Ireland numbered 1252, down from 1481 in the year ending 2007. That can be put down to a number of factors such as the change in social habits, property revaluations, non-renewal of licenses and the impact that supermarket pricing is having. The offer from our pubs and bars here is still of the highest quality and remains a valuable asset.
It is important to reiterate that the pub industry is a key economic driver and its health and vitality are crucial in the sustainability of the economy as a whole. It must be protected.