Thursday 23 November 2017

Spar unit rings up €7.9m loss on interest

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

A COMPANY that collects franchise payments from over 100 Spar shops posted a €7.9m loss in its 2015 financial year, and its net debt edged higher to €14.4m.

Triode Newhill Acquisitions (TNA) provides management services to Spar outlets and is ultimately owned by BWG.

In 2014, Spar South Africa acquired an 80pc stake in BWG for €55m.

Accounts just filed for TNA show that it generated €39.5m in revenue in the 12 months to the end of September last year. The previous accounting period was for nine-month window, and is not comparable.

The latest filings reveal that TNA - which employs nearly 300 staff - posted a €789,000 operating loss in the 2015 financial year, but that a €7m interest bill put it deeper into the red.

The company had a shareholders' deficit of €148.3m at the end of the accounting period, and notes that it has a letter from another company undertaking to provide financial support to TNA for a period of not less than 12 months.

TNA's revenue for the period included franchise fees of €8.5m, and €28.9m from the distribution of product.

Despite the losses racked up by the firm, Spar South Africa pointed out that during the 2015 financial year, BWG had actually performed well overall.

BWG generated revenue of 16.89bn Rand (€1.1bn) in the 12 months to the end of September last year, and a pre-tax profit of 182.1m Rand (€12m).

BWG accounted for 23pc of Spar South Africa's revenue and 13pc of its 1.98bn Rand (€130m) operating profit.

BWG grew its total store footprint in Ireland and the South West of England in the period from 1,151 to 1,332, of which 145 are attributable to the acquisition of ADM Londis.

ADM Londis was acquired by BWG in early 2015 for €23m.

"Conclusion of the acquisition of ADM Londis was a significant transaction strengthening BWG's dominant position in convenience retailing," noted Spar South Africa.

"The integration of the Londis retailers into the BWG Group is progressing well and efficiency gains are anticipated to materialise in future."

The South African group also noted that in June 2015, the refinancing of BWG's €220m banking facilities was concluded. That resulted in "substantial improvements" in financing costs, it said.

BWG's three minority shareholders are chief executive Leo Crawford, property director John Clohisey and finance director John O'Donnell.

In interim results published this year, Spar South Africa said that the performance of BWG in the first six months of the financial year that ends this month was "ahead of plan, with strong turnover gains… further boosted by the acquisition of the Londis retail brand".

Irish Independent

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