One51 poised for growth as HSBC adds €25m

HSBC has joined Dublin-based niche investment group One51’s banking syndicate, adding another €25m to the company’s existing loan facility and boosting it to €90m.

Earlier this year, the plastics and renewable energy-focused business completed a debt refinancing with its lenders, resulting in a new €75m four-year bank facility.

Yesterday, on the back of a strong set of interim results, One51 announced HSBC’s addition to its lending syndicate. It also confirmed that, since the end of June, it has conditionally raised €22.5m in new equity from existing shareholders and new investors. One51 has also sold its headquarters on Dublin’s Thomas St for €5.1m, about €1.6m more than expected, and has put a lease-back arrangement in place.

Group chief executive Alan Walsh said the increased investment and the extra available loan facilities give the business “the financial flexibility to fund future growth”.

It is understood that One51 will set about that future growth both through organic means and acquisitions. It particularly wants to grow manufacturing capability for its plastics logistics business in areas such as paint packaging and baby formula packaging in China and mainland Europe.

In 2013, One51 had its first annual profit in seven years, with net debt levels hitting their lowest for the same timeframe. Yesterday, it published figures for the first six months of 2014, which showed a 71% year-on-year increase in underlying pre-tax profit to €3.6m, a 66% annualised rise in basic earnings per share to 3.93c and a 59% reduction in first- half net debt to €34.3m. Turnover, however, slipped by 3% to €144.4m.

This year has also seen One51 raise €9m from the sale of its stake in UK waste firm Augean and complete the disposal of its non-core Irish Pride bread business. Speaking yesterday, Mr Walsh said the group has undergone “a significant process of change” in the past three years.

Additionally, after a number of board retirements, One51 has commenced a recruitment process for additional non-executive directors. Management also said that it is confident in the ability of its underlying businesses to grow profitability over the medium term.