Belfast Telegraph

Revenues healthy despite recession for Foyleside Ltd

By John Simpson

Foyleside Ltd is a large property company owned by private Northern Ireland shareholders with a wide portfolio in the United Kingdom and Ireland, some of which is held in subsidiary companies registered in Gibraltar. The latest balance sheet value of the assets of the group is £558m which was revised from £666m in 2010.

Locally the company owns the shopping centre of the same name in Londonderry as well as Forestside and Abbey Centre in Belfast.

The trading results reflect a continuing revenue stream from the properties which has resulted in a continuing operating profit.

Some other commercial property companies have faced a fall in current revenues where property rentals have decreased, although Foyleside revenues seem to have suffered only a small impact from the recession.

The registered accounts show an exceptional administrative charge in the year to July 2011 which was taken as a deduction from operating profit.

As a property company, the proportion of operating profit absorbed by payments of interest on borrowed funds critically affects pre-tax profits.

Interest charges each year exceed £30.3m. In July 2013, the company had total bank loans of £546m, unchanged on a year earlier.

Pre-tax profits at £2.2m in 2012-13 were 38% lower than last year.

To continue to trade the group is dependent on the support of its bankers. However, the group reports that "the directors are in advanced discussions with the [Ulster] bank to agree a restructuring of the business and the debt in a strategy which would entail asset realisation".

Foyleside owns a range of subsidiary companies including Abbey Centre which is then the owner of six further subsidiary companies, including Mearns Cross shopping centre in Scotland and the Marshes shopping centre in Dundalk.

The group has no direct employees.

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