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Pharmacare firm is a high street force with 500 staff

The Magir group trades through a large number of Medicare Pharmacies around Northern Ireland. It is one of two large Northern Ireland-owned groups of high street pharmacies, trading alongside the other major national groups.

The company has been trading with a positive operating profit in recent years. However, the annual interest costs on borrowed funds have, until 2013, created a pre-tax loss. Now in 2014, lower interest costs and higher operating profit have combined to generate a pre-tax profit.

The profit results have improved in 2014 although this has been alongside a small fall in overall turnover to just over £76m.

Borrowed funds in August 2014 amounted to just over £50m. This was nearly £9m less than a year earlier. In November 2013 the company agreed a refinancing deal with certain lenders. A new term facility for £37m was advanced by a new bank syndicate. A remaining loan balance in late 2013 of £7.84m was waived by the former lender. An existing shareholder provided a subordinated loan of a further £2m.

This change in borrowing details created an exceptional gain of £7.5m which had a marked impact on the pre-tax profits of the group.

Also in 2014, the group approved an increase in its issued share capital.

Different subsidiaries of UDG Heathcare plc are all treated as related parties to this company and provided direct purchases by Magir valued at nearly £20m.

The confirmation of continued funding being available from the group bankers has allowed the directors to maintain a going concern basis.

The capital restructuring, now reflected in the accounts for the year to August 2014, shows a stronger pre-tax position and a much improved balance sheet value of shareholders' funds.

Employment in the company averaged 504 people in the year to August 2014. Employment has fallen by 16% from a previous high of 586 in 2011.