Fresh posts operating profit
Fresh Opportunities, the convenience store operator that was co-founded by Simon Kelly and in which BWG now has a nearly 50pc stake, posted a small operating profit last year as the new owners converted one of the units to a Eurospar outlet and overall margins improved. The company posted a €1.2m operating loss in 2008 and a profit of just over e20,000 last year.
BWG, which owns the rights to the Spar and Mace symbol franchises in Ireland, acquired its stake in the then struggling Fresh business last year.
It had been a supplier to the business since it was founded in 2006 by Mr Kelly, the son of developer Paddy Kelly, and Noel Smith, who remains involved in the business with a majority stake. Mr Kelly is no longer involved in the operation.
The accounts for Fresh Opportunities note that a cash injection received during 2009 due to a refinancing had "substantially improved" the company's fiscal position in the face of a challenging economic environment.
"The directors continue to work very hard at reducing the overall cost base while seeking to maintain turnover and margins," the accounts added.