Belfast Telegraph

Company Snapshot: Clearway Holding Ltd

Clearway Holdings was established as a group holding company in May 2005.

At that date it acquired three other active companies which were developing specialisms in the handling and disposal of waste materials and the recycling of ferrous and non-ferrous metals. The subsidiaries were bought in a deal worth over £71m of which goodwill was put at £34m. It was controlled by the shareholders from one family.

Clearway Holdings is the parent company of Clearway Disposals and Aughrim Landfill, both registered in Northern Ireland, and Hammond Lane Metal, registered in Dublin. It has sites in Belfast, Portadown, Athlone and Ringaskiddy .

Turnover has been increasing steadily both in the new company, since 2005, and in Clearway Disposals. Turnover in 2001 in the latter business was £37m. This rose to £49m in 2004 and, in the new company, more than trebled to reach £190m in 2008.

Operating profits have generally been higher than 10% of turnover, reaching a peak of 16% in 2007 and then falling back to below 14% in 2008. Significant interest charges have been met each year, reducing pre-tax profits to below the registered operating profits.

Employment has been relatively stable at over 150 people. The directors report that the large turnover increase in 2008 was the result of indigenous growth based on high demand and strong world prices. In 2009 overall prices for scrap metal are lower.

Turnover through Aughrim Landfill also increased significantly in 2008. In addition, a leachate treatment plant has been built during 2008. A second landfill development cell is to be finished this year.

Translating reserve funds back into sterling means that their value must be retranslated at the end of each year. In 2007, that calculation added £1.5m to the value of reserves and in 2008 an extra £8.8m was added. These additions had no effect on the profit and loss account but emerge to increase the balance sheet value of shareholders funds.

The purchase of the subsidiaries in 2005 was partly financed by the issue of redeemable preference shares to a nominal value of £25m. Over the last three years these redeemable preference shares have been repurchased.

Belfast Telegraph