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Trust bottom line `distorted' PDF Print E-mail
11 January 2018 - By Mick Jensen - Ashburton Licensing Trust (ALT) has recorded a profit of $3.9m for the year ending March 2017, but much of that figure relates to property revaluations associated with Hotel Ashburton and Speight's Ale House.
A change in reporting standards from depreciated historic cost to net market value has resulted in a $3.5m revaluation of the two properties, which are now both leased to independent operators.
ALT president Fay Watson said the ``distorted'' bottom line figure and other business disposal costs left a more realistic profit for the year of $420,000.
The board was very pleased with that profit, which was a complete turn-around from results in recent years.
Mrs Watson said ALT's business model change from being an operator to a landlord had resulted in positive cashflows and also in improvements to short and long term risk profiles.
Overheads had been significantly reduced during the year and the administration structure was now very lean.
ALT has also repaid back all its bank debt, while its subsidiary company Somerset Ashburton, which owns Somerset House, has a bank debt of $3.82m and is expected to be debt free within the next 10 years.
The ALT audited accounts reflect the sale of Somerset Grocer (April 2016), Speight's Ale House (May 2016) and Hotel Ashburton (November 2016), but not the Tinwald motel and tavern complex which was sold in September 2017.
The Devon Tavern remains the only business operated by the trust.
With its new operating model, ALT has developed a long term maintenance plan for all its properties.
Next year's profit will be influenced by the accounting treatment of roof repairs at Hotel Ashburton, which is seen as a sizeable must-do project.
The ALT board and its advisers are continuing to work on a robust investment policy for the future and the public will be consulted later in the year.
Mrs Watson said the board was also looking at the option of ``reconstituting as a community trust''  and becoming a more appropriate entity ``now that hospitality was no longer the trust's main source of income''.
Ashburton Trust will present its results at a public meeting at 5.30pm in Feeney's Lounge, Devon Tavern on January 18.


Read more local news at The Ashburton Courier

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