Cuts, sales and pur­chases make for leaner Trust

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE -

‘‘We have re­duced the or­gan­i­sa­tion's foot­print but are now gen­er­at­ing sub­stan­tially greater prof­itabil­ity’’

The sale of su­per­mar­kets and bot­tle stores, as well as a re­duc­tion in staff has put the com­mu­nity-owned busi­ness Trust House Group al­most $10 mil­lion in the black.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Al­lan Pol­lard said the $9.5 mil­lion sur­plus in the last fi­nan­cial year was a pos­i­tive re­sult for the group.

‘‘The strong fi­nan­cial per­for­mance is a sig­nif­i­cant high­light for the group and I think tes­ti­mony to the hard work of our staff and some of the tough de­ci­sions that we have made over the last few years to re­duce ex­pen­di­ture and cre­ate op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cies,’’ Pol­lard said.

The group has halved its num­ber of staff from four years ago when the com­pany em­ployed 400 peo­ple and owned 24 out­lets. It now owns nine as well as its hous­ing port­fo­lio and a small hy­dro scheme.

‘‘In essence we have re­duced the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s foot­print but are now gen­er­at­ing sub­stan­tially greater prof­itabil­ity with the up­side be­ing in­creased re­turns back to our com­mu­ni­ties.’’

The Master­ton-based or­gan­i­sa­tion was one of the largest com- mu­nity hous­ing providers in New Zealand with around 500 rental prop­er­ties in Wairarapa and Tararua.

In the last year Trust House has sold sev­eral busi­nesses and pur­chased oth­ers. The Feather­ston Gate­way su­per­mar­ket was sold in March and rep­re­sents a com­plete exit from its gro­cery store busi­nesses.

‘‘We have and will con­tinue to re­lent­lessly fo­cus on our core busi­ness and exit those parts of our busi­ness model that do not meet our core cri­te­ria, or are drag­ging the chain in our ad­vance­ment of com­mer­cial strength,’’ Pol­lard said.

While ad­mit­ting that the sale of as­sets had con­trib­uted to the bot­tom line, Pol­lard said much of this year’s good re­sult can be at­trib­uted to im­prove­ments and ef­fi­ciency gains across the whole busi­ness and an abil­ity to sell as­sets that de­liver value back to the group.

The group sold the Grey­town Ho­tel and Flaxmere bot­tle store land and build­ings as well as the Em­pire Tav­ern in Feild­ing.

On other side of the ledger, the Trust bought the Post Of­fice Ho­tel in Pahiatua and Jackson Street Bar in Master­ton.

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