Licensing trust 'delighted' with surplus

The Oamaru Licensing Trust has recorded a surplus for the second year running.

Trust chairman Ali Brosnan was ''delighted to announce'' the 2014-15 result yesterday - a net operating surplus before tax and finance costs of $287,683 compared with a $12,098 deficit the previous financial year.

When finance costs and tax are taken into account, a $24,395 overall surplus is recorded, compared with a $527,749 surplus the previous financial year, which was boosted by a non-income book entry of $527,749 for revaluation of the trust's shares in the DB South Island brewery at Washdyke.

The latest performance is in marked contrast to losses recorded by the trust in recent years and reflects changes made to return it to profitability.

That included bringing back management to Oamaru last year, for a hands-on, day-to-day approach, after previously contracting it out to the Ashburton Licensing Trust.

''Since that time, the managers and board have worked diligently to streamline the operation and to improve the trading result of the trust's assets,'' Mr Brosnan said.

That was reflected in the positive swing in the trust's results and reinforced the move by the trust to manage its assets itself and employ local managers to grow and develop the business.

Administration costs had been streamlined ($366,936 last financial year compared with $519,885 in 2013-14) and a greater level of focus placed on the local community.

During that time, the trust also employed Mainstay Hotels New Zealand to assist with operations and marketing, which had been a success for both parties.

''The board, along with managers and business partners, remain much focused on continuing to improve the results of the trust,'' Mr Brosnan said.

The new course of direction set two years ago and the movements to date gave it confidence on the future financial security of the trust and the decision made to reshape it.

Debt had been reduced during the past year, which was a positive move for the future.

One pleasing aspect had been an increase in sales - which included liquor, food and accommodation - from $9,388,712

to $9,519,939. With good demand for this summer, it was believed that growth was sustainable.

The Brydone Hotel, in particular, had ''a stellar year'', growing in all its departments and producing a very good result compared with the previous year, Mr Brosnan said.

david.bruce@odt.co.nz

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