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Weak sterling impacted on results, says Lir parent

Zetar, the AIM-listed British confectioner that acquired Irish chocolate-maker Lir in 2007, said yesterday that margin pressures experienced by the Navan-based subsidiary weighed down on results in the six months to the end of last October.

Lir suffered due to the weakness of sterling against the euro.

"While Lir achieved strong volume sales growth to UK customers . . . the continued weakness of sterling against the euro reduced the value of Lir's UK sales and operating profits by £250,000 (€286,000) against the comparable period," said Zetar. Zetar agreed in 2007 to pay up to €8m to buy Lir, which had been co-founded by Senator Mary White and Connie Doody in 1987. The deal included an up-front cash payment of €3.3m and additional performance-related payments of up to €4.7m. That additional consideration could become payable within the next two years.

The British chocolatier posted revenue of £57.1m (€65.5m) in the interim period to the end of October, up 7pc on the same period in 2008. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 18pc to £3.9m (€4.5m). Turnover for the eight months to the end of December was 10pc higher at £80m (€91.7m).

Irish Independent