One51 outlook positive despite 13pc decline in profits
PHILIP Lynch's One51 suffered a 13pc fall in profits last year but is projecting better results in 2010 as it enjoys "positive" pricing trends and pushes lower costs.
The firm's results and outlook are revealed in a letter sent to shareholders, which also details two renewable energy investments that have the potential to significantly increase One51's renewables footprint.
One51's recorded a turnover of €328m last year, down €105m on 2008, as it drew revenue from a range of businesses spanning environmental services, renewable energy, Irish Pride bread, as well as several listed and unlisted investments.
The revenue delivered pretax profits of €45.2m.
"While this result is about 13pc lower than the previous year, we believe it is a satisfactory performance in a very difficult environment," Mr Lynch told shareholders in the unlisted company.
The 2009 year also saw One51 book exceptional costs of €44.4m, as it wrote down its investment in Irish Ferries' owner ICG by €10.8m and booked another €33.6m after marking other investment assets to market and revaluing property, including its iconic Thomas Street headquarters in Dublin 8.
Despite this, Mr Lynch says One51 remains "confident that ICG represents a sound investment", while he also reiterates One51's commitment to its stakes in NTR and Open Hydro.
Mr Lynch's shareholders' note also reveals that One51 has snapped up a controlling stake in Island Renewable Energy, a venture headed by former NTR executive Michael King, and has made an investment in Pioneer Green, a company fronted by former Airtricity executive Andrew Bowman.
This is understood to be for less than €10m, but One51 sources stressed their "strategic" significancet.
One51's Environmental Services division, meanwhile, has had a "satisfactory start" to 2010, and will soon launch a "unique brand" that will "reveal the scale of the business" and help reduce costs.