Belfast Telegraph

Company Report: Corporate Catering Management

By John Simpson

Corporate Catering Management is a 51% majority shareholder in the Mount Charles Group which is one of Northern Ireland's largest registered businesses specialising in the provision of catering facilities.

Mount Charles Group, from 2007, enjoyed four years of increasing turnover followed by a small decrease in 2011 then reversed this in 2012. The directors' report emphasises that adding to shareholder value in the company is dependent on increasing the company's market share through new business unit contracts.

The results for the year ending in September 2012 are described as satisfactory. This is attributed, partially, to the successful implementation of a growth strategy linked to improved buying, better inventory management and savings on overhead costs in a highly competitive sector.

Expectations is that the recent level of turnover will be sustained and this links to aspirations that the current year will be one of further good progress.

In 2011, pre-tax results showed a net loss which was significantly affected by one-off costs of £1.5m for pension contributions and other professional fees. Then in 2012, exceptional costs of £0.2m have been deducted.

Pre-tax results have been more volatile than changes in operating profits. Average employment, at 1,091 people, rose by 38% on the 789 people employed on 2011. In support of staff retention, it has retained a learning programme for employees and has implemented reward schemes linked to results.

Because profits or losses are largely retained in shareholders' funds, the balance sheet showed a year end decrease in 2011 of 6% although, at £2.9m, they were a multiple of the balance sheet value in earlier years. The balance sheet value of shareholders' funds rose in 2012 to £3.3m. No dividend to shareholders was paid in 2012.

Belfast Telegraph