Edinburgh bar group Montpeliers toast profit rise

Montpelier's eponymous bar in Bruntsfield. Picture: TSPL
Montpelier's eponymous bar in Bruntsfield. Picture: TSPL
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THE company behind some of Edinburgh’s best-known bars is toasting a 15-fold jump in profits thanks to “excellent” profit margins at its nightclubs.

Montpeliers – which owns bars and restaurants including Indigo Yard, Rick’s and Tigerlily, as well as Lulu and Opal Lounge nightclubs – made a pre-tax profit of £1.5 million for the year to 29 April. That compared with a £101,000 profit in the previous 12 months.

Turnover at the group edged up to £15.6m from £15.3m as ­administrative costs were trimmed to £7.6m from £8.5m, accounts filed at Companies House showed.

Company secretary David Withers said in the group’s report: “The massive increase in profit was primarily driven by excellent margins at all levels and tight control of labour and operating overheads.

“All the units traded well and achieved more than the targets set by the board, with Tigerlily and the two nightclubs, Lulu and The Opal Lounge, contributing the bulk of operating profits.”

Staff employed by Montpeliers – which is owned by Robert and Wendy Elliott, and David and Ruth Withers – fell to 322 to 346, but the total wage bill climbed to £4.9m from £4.7m. Dividend payments were cut to £205,000 from £783,000.

Accounts filed for the previous year had shown an 83 per cent plunge in profits after the nightclubs had failed to sustain an earlier “exceptional performance”.

The company had also taken an £83,000 writedown after selling its Assembly Bar on Lothian Road in July 2011, which had been a tied-leasehold property.