Business Irish

Monday 16 July 2018

Blarney Woollen Mills refinances debt

The accounts note that the principal activity of the group is the sale of giftware and clothing, as well as the operation of a hotel in Blarney, Co Cork. Stock image
The accounts note that the principal activity of the group is the sale of giftware and clothing, as well as the operation of a hotel in Blarney, Co Cork. Stock image
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

The Woollen Mills group, whose businesses include Meadows & Byrne, posted an operating profit of €1.8m last year, up from the €803,000 it made the year before.

Blarney Woollen Mills has also returned to a "sustainable financial state" after refinancing its bank facilities, it said.

Turnover at the group's stores hit €17.5m in the financial year to the end of last January, compared to €17.4m in the previous financial year.

The accounts note that the principal activity of the group is the sale of giftware and clothing, as well as the operation of a hotel in Blarney, Co Cork.

"In the period 2007 to 2011, the group incurred significant trading losses and asset impairments which, taken to together, resulted in the group having a deficiency in shareholders' funds and being in breach of banking covenants," directors note in the latest set of accounts.

The directors of the business include Freda Hayes, who is the chief executive of the Blarney Woollen Mills group.

"In more recent years, the group has traded profitably and during the year and subsequent to the year end, has refinanced its banking facilities, which resulted in the group returning to a sustainable financial state," the directors added.

During the year, the business said that one of the bank facilities was discharged through a combination of asset sales and a settlement agreement which resulted in a "significant improvement" in the group's overall balance sheet position.

A second facility totalling €7.5m was renegotiated, it added. A third banking facility of €19m was renegotiated following the financial year end and is now repayable over a seven-year term.

Its lender is Allied Irish Banks. Blarney Woollen Mills said that it has prepared cashflow projections for coming years.

"The directors have tested the impact of variations from these projections and assessed the adequacy of the group's funds under a combination of different scenarios to reflect down-side risks," the accounts note.

"The directors have also identified certain non-core assets that may be disposed to reduce the group's overall loan obligations without adversely affecting trading activities," the directors said.

The added that they are confident the group can meet its liabilities as they fall due for the foreseeable future.

Irish Independent

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