ILT leader ‘really happy’ with result given pandemic

Chris Ramsay. Photo: supplied
Chris Ramsay. Photo: supplied
The Invercargill Licensing Trust recorded a surplus of more than $6 million last year - an unexpected but welcome surprise for the chief executive due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chief executive Chris Ramsay told the ILT board on Thursday of its financial result for the financial year which ended March 31.

ILT recorded a net surplus for the year of $6,243,000, with sales lower by $9.5 million or 10.2%.

Mr Ramsay said the result was significantly affected by the Covid-19 outbreak - there had been a decrease in profit of $516,000 compared with 2020.

However, given the challenges, he believed the result could be considered a good one.

"It is a result that in any other year I would be a bit disappointed with but given the impact with Covid-19, I’m really happy with the way we ended."

There were a couple of factors which had offset the considerable drop in sales, and consequently in profit, he said.

Firstly was the Government’s wage subsidy which tallied $3.56 million.

A business-wide restructure and a reduction in controllable costs had also been key, he said.

"We had to cut our capital expenditure and maintenance work, so that saved us $1.2 million. If we hadn’t done that, we would be in a worse position."

The unexpected good result gave ILT a moral boost and Mr Ramsay said the trust started the 2021-22 financial year "more positively than forecasted."

The year-to-date profit was $2.1 million.

"This is ahead of the 2020 result of $1.6 million - Covid-affected - and also the 2019 result for the same period of $1.8 million."

However, it was too early to celebrate as there was still "tremendous uncertainty" with Covid-19 and potential alert level changes, he said.

"If there’s one thing we know, it’s that whenever the alert level changes, we lose at least 20% of our business.

So we are still cautiously optimistic - those have been my favourite words to describe it."

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