Monday 9 December 2019

Outlook 'uncertain' as Vue Three Sixty loses €16.8m

John Mulligan

Vue Three Sixty, a construction company jointly controlled by developer Donal Caulfield, posted a €16.8m loss in 2008 as turnover slumped to €21.5m from €91.5m, accounts just filed for the business show.

One of Mr Caulfield's main trading companies, LM Developments, had a receiver appointed to it late last year on foot of an application by Ulster Bank. Vue Three Sixty, which wasn't affected by that appointment, is equally owned by Mr Caulfied and Leo Meenagh.

LM Developments was responsible for some high-profile building projects around the capital, including housing at Belmayne, north of the city. Vue Three Sixty expanded its operations to countries including Spain and Poland.

Mr Caulfield and Mr Meenagh paid themselves a total of almost €2m in 2007, the Vue Three Sixty accounts note, although the figure dropped to just €50,000 in 2008.

Accounts for Vue Three Sixty reveal that it wrote off a €4m investment in an option to acquire shares in Shepton Holdings, as it won't be exercising that option due to the economic environment.

Shepton is controlled by Mr Caulfied and Mr Meenagh, as well as businessmen Gerard Hopkins and Tony Tyrrell.

Vue Three Sixty's accounts also note that the company had bank loans totalling over €284m repayable within a year from the end of 2008, secured on the firm's assets and personal guarantees from the directors.

The directors note that interest was being rolled up on bank loans and that, without that leeway, the company "will not continue to trade".

Vue Three Sixty also advanced significant funds in 2008 to companies controlled by Mr Caulfield and Mr Meenagh, including over €6m to firms undertaking work in mainland Spain and the Canary Islands.

The company listed stocks and work in progress valued at €311m at the end of 2008, which the directors say was "fairly stated" at the balance sheet date.

They acknowledge that there remains "huge uncertainty" in the market and that "profit projections and investment returns are continuously changing".

Irish Independent

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