Belfast Telegraph

Company Report: We look at parent company Balcas

By Staff Reporter

Balcas is the Fermanagh-based parent company holding the shares of a group of subsidiaries involved in the manufacture and sale of timber products locally and, until recently, in Estonia. It also has interests in renewable electricity generation.

Changes in ownership and accounting presentation are shown in the accounts for 2014, which have been adjusted for 2013 and 2014 to the new FRS 102 standard. Some details from 2012 are, therefore, not directly comparable with later years.

In 2015, the largest shareholder, The Clean Energy Company BV, converted a shareholder loan into equity. As a result, control of the group passed to SHV Holdings NV. The change in ownership was followed by the resignation of five of the original directors, including Ernest Kidney. Stephen Kingon remains chairman.

The group restructured its banking facilities by transferring from Ulster Bank to First Trust, and it now has long-term debt facilities in place until 2024.

The directors assess the future as displaying excellent potential for growth of renewable energy activities, and a much improved trading outcome is expected.

The results for 2014 include an exceptional cost of £2.9m linked to exit from involvement in a plant in Estonia. At £87m, turnover in 2014 reached a five-year peak. There was also an improvement in operating profit, which, however, had to meet the £2.9m charge, as well as interest charges of £3m. The pre-tax position was, therefore, a loss of £2.4m.

Balcas continues to be partly financed by funds from its bank, and at the end of the financial year borrowing due was more than £12m, but there still was net fall in borrowing over the reporting period.

Employment in the group, meanwhile, decreased in 2014 to 358 people.

Belfast Telegraph