Monday 18 December 2017

Touchstone had €12m share deficit last year

Laura Noonan

THE health-centre chain founded by Unicare executive Fergus Hoban ended last year with a shareholders' deficit of more than €12m, prompting its auditors to place an "emphasis of matter" on the accounts.

Mr Hoban unveiled Touchstone Healthcare back in 2004, saying he hoped to develop a national network of "about 60" centres with pharmacies, GPs, dentists and other medical practitioners all under one roof.

A brochure on Touchstone's website says the venture has worked with "318 GPs in over 50 projects" in the past two years.

"These GP client teams are progressing the development of their primary care centres across the country," the brochure adds.

It repeats the initial goal of 60 centres but gives no detail on the current footprint of the company.

Accounts just filed with the Companies Office show Touchstone lost more than €1.1m last year, leaving the venture with a shareholders' deficit of €12.4m.

In a statement accompanying the accounts, Touchstone's auditors draw attention to the firm's financial state with an "emphasis of matter" but do not qualify the accounts.

However, "it is envisaged by the directors that there will be continuing support from the shareholders for the foreseeable future", the note adds.

"Due to this continued support, the accounts have been prepared on a going concern basis."

The new accounts show that Touchstone has almost €14.8m in borrowings falling due in more than one year, but no breakdown of the loans is given.

The firm also has €1.2m of short-term creditors, mainly trade creditors and accruals and deferred income.

Irish Independent

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