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$2.4m in losses

Shawn Cumberbatch

$2.4m in  losses

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More than six months after T.G.I. FRiDAY’s lone restaurant here was closed, costing more than 50 Barbadians their jobs, its Trinidad and Tobago owners say they lost $2.4 million on the business in the eight months it operated last year.
And Prestige Holdings Limited (PHL), which has just told its shareholders that the Barbados venture was a significant financial burden, also revealed that it still had to repay a $1.5 million loan CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank provided to Prestige Restaurants Limited, which operated the local T.G.I. outlet at Hastings, Christ Church.
PHL owns 80 per cent of PRL’s share capital and PRL operated the international franchise until its closure in August last year. PHL’s ultimate parent is Victor E. Mouttet Limited.
In consolidated financial statements which were released about a week ago and covered the period ended November 30, 2013, PHL said: “In August 2013, at a meeting held by the board of directors of Prestige Holdings Limited, the necessary approvals and authorisations were provided with regard to the termination of the business of Prestige Restaurant Limited, as its operation in Barbados continued to incur significant operating losses in an unpredictable and declining market.
“The restaurant operated for nine months in this financial period. The resulting total loss to the group is disclosed in the consolidated income statement as “loss for the year from discontinued operations,” it added, quantifying that loss at $2.4 million, including almost $2 million “on disposal of property, plant and equipment”.
As for the FirstCaribbean loan, the company said, “This loan represents an amount owed to FirstCaribbean International Bank (Barbados) Limited bearing interest at the rate of eight per cent per annum. The loan is secured by a registered demand first debenture on the fixed and floating assets of Prestige Restaurants Limited Barbados. The balance on this loan was renegotiated during the year which resulted in a change in the terms and conditions of the facility. This balance will be paid during the financial year ending 2014.”
At the time of T.G.I Barbados’ closure, PHL blamed its demise on “local operating costs, increasing losses and the declining local economic climate”. The restaurant had been operating since August 2007 and employed more than 50 Barbadians.
Prior to the closure, PHL chairman Christian E. Mouttet called the restaurant “a considerable disappointment” and said during 2012 and the first quarter of 2013 year it continued to make losses.