Northern Ireland

Buttercrane Centre Ltd makes loss of £4m

Bank of Ireland
Image caption The firm has loans of almost £192m from Bank of Ireland

The company which owns the Buttercrane shopping centre in Newry made a loss of £4m in 2011.

Buttercrane Centre Ltd owns other properties including shopping centres in Scotland and the south of England.

The firm would have made a pre-tax profit of around £3m but had a one-off, exceptional expense of £7m.

It also had to write down the value of its properties by almost £12m, leading to a total loss for the year of £16m.

Almost all major property firms across Ireland have had to write down the value of their assets as a result of the property crash.

The firm sold one of its properties during the year for more than £30m. Its portfolio is now valued at just under £150m.

It has loans of almost £192m from Bank of Ireland and KBC (Kredietbank ABB Insurance CERA Bank)and its liabilities now outweigh its assets by £33m.

A note in the accounts from the directors states that the group's ability to trade is dependent upon the continuing support of its bankers.

The note adds that cash flows are forecasted to meet loan interest and capital payments for at least the next 12 months.

The directors state that overall the the group has "performed satisfactorily in a difficult market".

Turnover, which consists of income from rents and car parking charges, was £13.7m - down by about £1m on 2010.

The main shareholder of the firm is understood to be John B McGuckian, the former chairman of UTV.

He has other substantial property interests held through a number of companies.