Saturday 25 November 2017

One51 reports its first profit in eight years

One51 Chairman Denis Cregan
One51 Chairman Denis Cregan

Sarah Stack and Donal O'Donovan

INVESTMENT company One51 has turned its fortunes around and reported its first profit since 2006. After-tax profits were €7.1m for 2013, compared to losses of €116.1m in 2012, it said in a statement.

The firm – which has reduced net debt by 54.6pc to €40.3m – said it had completed a two-year action plan that focused on selling off non-core assets.

"I am pleased to report that the group delivered a profit after tax of €7.1m in 2013, its first profit since 2006," chief executive Alan Walsh said.

"The turnaround in our fortunes, which has accompanied the completion of the two-year action plan set out to shareholders in 2011, puts the group in a position to focus on growth and increasing shareholder value.

"From a balance-sheet perspective, both net debt and leverage ratios at year end were at lower levels than any year end since 2005.

"Consequently, One51 is now in a more robust financial position than at any time in recent years. Trading since the year end is in line with expectations."

Turnover across the group fell by 12.8pc in the year to €301.6m, reflecting disposals. Earnings before exceptional items, rose, however, to €20.3m in 2013, up 11.8pc on the previous year.

One51 revealed that it agreed a new four-year €75m bank loan with Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Banks and Ulster Bank, last year. The group also disposed of its non-core shareholding in Augean, a UK hazardous waste-management company, for net disposal proceeds of €9m in January.

And a two-year action plan outlined to shareholders at the 2011 AGM has been successfully completed. The plan was designed to rationalise the portfolio, pay down debt and establish a viable long-term business.

One51's performance was ahead of expectations and was largely driven by a strong performance in the plastics division. However ClearCircle Environmental, the group's resource recovery and recycling businesses, continued to face very difficult economic conditions which are likely to remain challenging in 2014. The division generated turnover of €151.6m, down from €188.3m.

At year end, One51 held a 23.2pc interest in NTR, which in September 2013 approved a return of €100m in capital to its shareholders. The €23.6m returned to One51 was used to pay down debt.

One51 said: "Substantial progress has been made but challenges remain and moving from a restructuring focused environment to a growth-led environment will take time for the results to become evident."

One51's share price remained at €1, according to its website.

Irish Independent

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