Belfast Telegraph

Company Snapshot: Balcas Ltd.

Russia closure hits Balcas

By John Simpson

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, in Ireland and in eastern Europe.

The group also has an interest in the generation of renewable electricity. During 2011 it retained a business in Estonia but closed a plant in Russia. Ernest Kidney is its managing director.

In the year, ended in December 2011, the group continued to be affected by the results of a difficult trading year. Because of differences in the reporting periods used, comparisons have been adjusted pro rata. The increase in turnover in 2011 is after adjustment of the figure for the previous 14-month period.

The group showed a modest improvement in trading performance and expressed confidence that Balcas now has a powerful and sustainable business model. The pre-tax loss of £4.4m in 2011 was impacted by an exceptional charge of £3.5m arising from the closure Russia closure.

The group is partly financed by funds from its banks which at the end of the financial year showed borrowing due in over one year at nearly £19m. This borrowing has fallen by nearly £8m in the last three years.

The directors report that the group cash position was strengthened during the year when the largest shareholder introduced an unsecured convertible loan of €5.8m (about £4.7m). Net interest payments at just under £3m remained a significant cost.

Employment, in both Northern Ireland and other locations, decreased in 2009 to 383 people.