Cuts, sales and purchases make for leaner Trust
‘‘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.