Troubled investment firm One51 has 'turned corner'
Chairman says the company is now beginning to stabilise
TROUBLED investment firm One51 said it turned the corner last year, as it cuts debt and rolls back on its operations.
In its annual report for 2012, the One51 chairman Denis Cregan said the company had deleveraged its business to a huge extent in recent years, and as a result the firm had now begun to stabilise.
The investment firm, which was set up by former IAWS boss Phillip Lynch, bought heavily in the boom, taking large positions in the likes of NTR, Irish Continental Group and waste management services.
Mr Lynch was ousted two years ago, however, amid declining performance of the company's investments and a depressed share price, which had peaked at more than €5, but now languishes at 38c.
Recognising the impairments was a "necessary measure given the carrying value of the investments and the high level of goodwill on the balance sheet in the context of lower earnings expectations", Mr Cregan said.
"Directly because of a number of ongoing measures, in particular the asset disposal and performance improvement programmes, One51 is stabilising. Operations have been right sized and the cost base has been reduced significantly," he added.
"Since year end, the group's financing syndicate agreed to extend One51's current banking facilities through to December 2014.
"This, together with ongoing improvement programmes in the group's environmental services division and the encouraging performance of the plastic injection moulding division, together with NTR plc's continued value recovery, gives grounds for cautious optimism that the group's prospects are improving," the chairman concluded.
The report also shows that company chief executive Alan Walsh took home more than €460,000 in 2012.
The executive, who took over from Mr Lynch, was paid a basic salary of €300,000 and bonuses and pension contributions added the remaining €160,000.
Mr Lynch had earned a basic wage of €355,000 in his last year in charge, but was handed bonuses and pension contributions worth hundreds of thousands of euro.