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Limerick catering supplier took €78m Covid revenue hit


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County Limerick-based food service wholesaler Sysco Foods Ireland last year sustained a €78m hit to revenues due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

That is according to new accounts for the Newcastle West-based business, Sysco Foods Ireland Unlimited, which show that the business, formerly Pallas Foods, recorded a pre-tax loss of €8.8m in the 12 months to the end of July 3 last as the business grappled with the impact of Covid-19.

The US-owned business, which changed its name to Sysco Ireland on May 10 last year, supplies food to thousands of hotels, shops, restaurants and pubs here along with healthcare and educational facilities and the figures show that revenues decreased by €78m, or 24pc, from €326.4m to €248.39m.

The directors state that in achieving the revenues, the company focused on sales with existing customers through its range of products and quality of service while operating in an industry that has been severely impacted by the Covid-19 global pandemic.

The business was led by Dubliner Peter Jackson during the period and Mr Jackson was appointed as CEO to Sysco in Britain in January of this year.

The directors state that the gross margin remained at 23pc for the period and this was achieved through a rigid cost management process, strong relationships with company suppliers and a change in the product mix.

The pre-tax loss of €8.8m followed a pre-tax loss of €24.17m in 2020 – the 2020 loss was largely attributable to a non-cash impairment charge of €15.54m.

The pre-tax loss last year also takes account of interest costs of €4.59m.

The business last year received €16.22m in Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme payments and this followed Covid-19 Wage Subsidy Scheme payments of €3.76m.

Numbers employed reduced from 1,281 and 1,241 while staff costs reduced from €39.75m to €28.27m.

The staff costs include wages and salaries reducing from €34.1m to €21.58m while redundancy costs increased more than four fold from €1.1m to €4.6m.

The pre-tax loss last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €3.67m and non-cash amortisation costs of €1.6m.

The loss also takes account of operating lease costs of €1.98m and a €563,639 loss on sale of financial assets.

At the end of June last, the company had shareholder funds of €85.9m that included accumulated profits of €41.2m.

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The company’s cash funds reduced from €12.54m to €7m.

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