Terra Firma-backed Garden Centre Group sees profit fall

 
Michael Bow
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THE GARDEN Centre Group, the 129-store chain snapped up by Guy Hands’ private equity firm Terra Firma in April, yesterday posted a small dip in pre-tax profits despite growing year on year revenue by nearly ten per cent.

The garden centre, which employs 5,000 people across the country, reported a pre-tax profit of £586,000 for the full year up until 25 December 2011, down from £860,000 in 2010.

Revenues for the year grew from £241m to £264m but the garden group was hit with higher exceptional costs related to the sale of the firm by its previous owner Lloyds Banking Group to Terra Firma in April for £276m.

The group took a £1.8m hit to the balance sheet after paying professional and adviser fees related to its refinancing and disposal.

The company also incurred a £2m loss related to the closure of Pyle Garden Centre and Beverley Garden Centre in 2011 before Terra Firma took control of the firm.

“The company prepared for an early season and benefited significantly during the early month of the year,” the firm said in a filing at Companies House.

“The summer months saw cool weather and high rainfall before returning to strong Autumn and Christmas trading.”