Belfast Telegraph

John Henderson Holdins Ltd: Steady growth year on year

For the year ending on December 31, John Henderson (Holdings) is the parent company to a number of subsidiaries with a range of activities – wholesale and retail – in food distribution, mainly in Northern Ireland, but alongside extensive sales elsewhere.

In 2012, the group continued its long successful series of annual increases in turnover, usually matched, except in 2011, by improvements in operating profits.

Henderson Wholesale holds the franchise for Spar, Vivo and VG in Northern Ireland and through these franchise activities, offers services to over 420 retail outlets.

Other subsidiaries include Henderson Retail, which has a network of 72 directly owned supermarket, neighbourhood and forecourt stores, as well as eight other stores trading under licence. Henderson Foodservice provides food services to the catering trade.

Year by year the group has expanded by additional investment in the acquisition of businesses. In October 2011, it acquired Independent Catering Services Ltd and in 2012, integrated this trade with the Foodservice company at Mallusk.

In the results for 2012, the directors note that, as a result of a review of financial performance of recent acquisitions and redeveloped stores, they decided to impair the goodwill being carried in the accounts by £587,388, along with exceptional items of £459,136 in relation to the acquisition of Independent Catering Services.

Operating profits in 2012 recovered the reduction shown in 2011 and reached £16.2m. After allowing for net interest charges, pre-tax profits were £15.6m.

The balance sheet value of shareholders' funds at the end of 2012 was nearly £97m. This has steadily grown from a modest £4m in 1990. There has been a significant annual expenditure on capital assets, which fell to £6.3m in 2012, financed largely by retained post-tax profits and supported by a reducing amount of bank borrowing.

The revaluation of property owned by the group resulted in an unrealised loss on fixed assets taken from the balance sheet asset valuation of just under £6m. This followed a similar loss of £4m in 2011.

Employment in the group has stabilised in 2012, with a small fall to an average of 2,419 people to over 90% of the book value of fixed assets.

Corbo owns a controlling part of the share capital of four other companies: Murray House, Lemon Quay group, ASM (NI) Developments and Arena Fitness.

Belfast Telegraph