Licensing trust more than doubles profit

In the black. . . Mataura Licensing Trust general manager Mark Paterson is pleased with the turnaround in the trust’s profit margins for the 2022/23 financial year. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

The Mataura Licensing Trust has turned around its fortunes to file a net profit pre-tax result more than double last year’s.

The trust achieved a net profit pre-tax of $767,814 compared with a $692,068 deficit in the 2021-22 financial year.

Record sales of $27,872,598, were also achieved, which was an increase of nearly 12% on last year.

General manager Mark Paterson said sales were down in first four months of the year because of Covid-19 restrictions, but then increased as constraints were lifted.

‘‘Basically it was a game of two halves.’’

From August onwards people flocked to the trust’s establishments.

‘‘They were sick of being cooped up and they came out in their droves.’’

Accommodation sales increased by 38%, food sales grew by 28%, bar sales rose by 27% and bottle store sales increased by 3.5%.

It was a very pleasing result, Mr Paterson said.

Through the trust’s profit and loss account, $177,000 was given back to community groups and another $60,000 was donated.

The Trusts Community Foundation, which is the gaming arm of the business, approved $666,000 in grants.

Expenses increased 3.7% and the main contributor to this was an increased wage bill.

He was grateful for the community support which had contributed to the trust’s success and was mindful times were not easy for people, especially those in the farming community.

‘‘We stand with our agrarian friends in their financial and regulatory struggles.

‘‘Their importance to the community is immeasurable and they have our unwavering support, backing and heartfelt appreciation.’’

The result also reflected the efforts of the hard-working staff who kept the business going in some challenging conditions. The start of the new trading year had been steady.

The trust was about to develop a new business plan after retrenching during the Covid years, Mr Paterson said. ‘

‘Now we’re in a position where we’re starting to move forward again.’’

A new $500,000 biomass boiler heating unit is being installed at the Croydon Lodge and a new roof is going on the Howl at the Moon restaurant and bar.

Trust board president Horace McAuley said it was a result all the community could be proud of.

‘‘We commend the community for their support because they are who we are here for.’’