Wholesaler spends second year in red as costs rise
OLIVE Holdings, the wholesale electrical distributor owned by the US-based Colburn family, posted a €6.7m loss in 2009 as it struggled with the downturn, according to accounts just filed for the business.
The accounts show that turnover at the group fell more than 12pc to €38.5m last year -- the second year in a row the company went into the red.
The company is behind Dundalk-based Eastern Electrical, as well as EWL Electric, Irwin Electrical and Edmundson Electrical.
Selling and distribution costs rose to €10.2m last year from €7.4m a year earlier. The group employed 145 people at the end of last year.
"The group continues to trade in difficult economic conditions, but has taken appropriate measures to put it in a good position to take advantage of any future recovery," directors note in the accounts. "These measures include a significant reduction in the cost base of the group, which is reflected in the performance for 2010."
Eastern Electrical was formerly owned by Dutch firm Hagemeyer, which was itself acquired by French peer Rexel for €3.1bn in 2008.
One of the conditions imposed by the European Commission in return for approval of the deal was the sale of Eastern Electrical. It was subsequently sold for an estimated €20m to EWL Electric.