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Saltire Taverns records losses

Saltire Taverns has fallen to a pre-tax loss of £32,720 as its turnover dipped from £6.8 million to £5.8m.

The company, owned by Billy Lowe and which runs Le Monde and the Hudson Hotel in Edinburgh, had recorded a profit of £71,529 in its previous accounts.

Income from continuing operations in the 12 months to January 31, 2012, was up from £4.4m to £5.3m but revenue from discontinued activities dipped from £2.4m to around £558,000.

The latest Companies House filing shows capital expenditure to acquire tangible assets was almost £4.3m, with much of that sum likely to have been related to the purchase of the Hudson from administrators of the Festival Inns business in July 2011.

The accounts also show Saltire received £4.1m from the sale of tangible assets in a year when it sold the Frankenstein pubs in Edinburgh and Glasgow for an undisclosed sum to Glendola Leisure.

Cash holdings reduced from £527,733 to £134,169 while net debt was steady at £4.9m.

Directors' remuneration dipped from £359,070 to £286,583, although the highest paid saw theirs rise from £157,756 to £171,349.

Equity dividends fell from £200,000 to £50,000, with Mr Lowe receiving £45,000, according to the accounts.

Average staff numbers were down from 161 to 129.

The company said it had continued to invest during the current trading year in order to "ensure long-term returns" and said it added results for 2013 were in line with budget.

Mr Lowe set up Saltire in 1997 after the Thistle Inns chain he built with cousin Kenny Waugh Jr was sold to S&N for £20m.

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