Wednesday 7 December 2016

It's neither feast nor famine with cost-cutting plan still to bear fruit

Published 09/03/2011 | 05:00

OFTEN when companies ply journalists with food it's because they hope we'll be so busy scoffing the goods we won't notice the bad news buried deep in smoothly polished press releases.

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So when FBD laid on pancakes, fruit and Lenten-banned treats of sweets and chocolate at their full-year results briefing yesterday morning, the red flags immediately went up.

Sure, the results looked good -- operating profits up by 41pc, bottom line results improved by €30m, market share on the up -- but there's gotta be a catch in there somewhere. FBD's bottom-line loss shrank from €30.9m in 2009 to just €3.2m in 2010. But the bulk of that achievement was linked to an €11m gain from FBD's pension scheme and a €10m improvement in FBD's property impairments.

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