Thursday 17 January 2019

Broadband firm Imagine boosted by damages win

Sean Bolger
Sean Bolger

Gordon Deegan

The settlement of a substantial claim for damages by broadband firm, Imagine, against a major supplier, contributed to the business recording pre-tax profits of €14.6m in 2016.

New accounts lodged by the Imagine Communications Group Ltd show that the group recorded the profits after an exceptional gain of €31.79m in 2016. The group is currently focusing on bringing its LTE super-fast fibre broadband to rural Ireland and in a note attached to the accounts, it stated that the exceptional income is as a result of a number of factors.

The note states that a gain from the successful outcome of litigation with a major technology supplier; a gain on the restructuring of other loans; the disposal of the group's retail business and recovery of bad debts written off all contributed to the €31.79m exceptional gain.

The note states that "further detailed information in relation to these transactions has not been included due to legal obligations and the commercially sensitive nature of these events".

The directors described the legal settlement of the significant item of ongoing litigation as resulting in materially strengthening the group's financial position in the year.

The pre-tax profit of €14.6m in 2016 followed a pre-tax loss of €4.4m in 2015. Revenues at the group almost halved going from €27.87m to €15.58m in 2016.

The directors state that they are satisfied with the performance of the group during the financial year and point to the company's earnings before tax, depreciation, interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) increasing from €2.75m to € €23.31m during 2016. 

The directors state that the group has continued to invest in its LTE broadband project "which gives the group a strong strategic position for the future and it continues to pursue its plan to deploy a national broadband network as a commercial operation using the latest global LTE technology".

The group's cash pile increased more than threefold to €6.6m and numbers employed increased from 134 to 156 with staff costs rising from €5.35m to €5.8m.

Directors emoluments remained static at €250,000. During the year, the group purchased consultancy services from a company controlled by director, Sean Bolger for €350,000 and at the end of December 2016, the amount owed to Mr Bolger's company was €823,500.

Irish Independent

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