Prime Active losses checked

PRE-TAX losses at Dublin-based investment group, Prime Active Capital (PAC) more than halved last year, to €1.4m; down from a loss of €3.9m in 2009.

The group — which grew out of the restructuring of former printing group Oakhill four years ago — now consists of two entities: the Irish-registered managed services business, PAC Services, and the US-registered mobile phone retail business, PAC Telemedia.

The latter division, the core element of the group, saw its revenues surge by 73% to €36.1m last year, and its pre-tax loss fall by 64% to €300,000.

The Telemedia business became profitable during the second half of the year. On a group-wide basis, PAC’s revenues grew by nearly €6m to €36.1m last year. PAC, which sold its Digimedia division in 2009, also holds a 28.5% stake in AIM-listed marketing communications business, Media Square, which grew both profit and revenue last year.

PAC chairman Peter Lynch (formerly finance director with Eircom) said that, while the Telemedia division is a seasonal business, more weighted towards the second half of the year, its good performance last year has carried on into the current year and the seasonally quieter first half trading period.

“The US has a fragile deficit economy, sustained by Government spending vastly in excess of its income. While the recession and this cycle continue, customer confidence is easily shaken and this has immediate repercussions into the retail environment in which we operate. While there are no real signs of economic recovery, still the business should continue to trade robustly in its market if there is no significant deterioration from here,” he added.

Meanwhile, in a research note on the group, Davy Stockbrokers forecast full-year revenues of €39.4m for PAC this year and a pre-tax profit of €300,000.

“While the US economy remains a concern, these results show a considerable improvement and management’s strategy of building out a strong retail franchise remains in place,” according to analyst Clodagh McCarthy.

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