Having closed its Irish Glass Bottle Company with the loss of 375 jobs earlier this year, Ardagh has reported an operating profit from its continuing operations of €14.6 million in the first half, according to the Irish Times.
However, the expense of closing its former manufacturing facility contributed to an overall operating loss of €439,000 at the group and a loss before interest and tax of €930,000.
The company said performance in the first six months of the year was satisfactory and ahead of budget, with turnover up by 6.5 per cent to €148.7 million.
Ardagh said its Irish Glass division incurred a trading loss of €1.07 million, while the results also include a provision for its closure of €14 million. Of this, €11 million relates to redundancies although the industrial dispute over the terms of severance pay have not yet been settled.
However, Ardagh believes that the realisation of working capital tied up in the Irish Glass operations will provide most of the cash required to fund the closure costs.
Looking ahead, Ardagh said trading conditions in Britain were improving due to increased market demand.
The acquisition of Consumers Glass Italy was completed at the end of July and its operations will be reflected in the second half results.
"Overall, the group expects to be able to deliver further earnings growth in the second half of 2002," Ardagh said.
The company's current debts stood at €257.6 million at the end of June, a figure it must reduce in order to stay in business.Ardagh chief executive Mr Eddie Kilty said that profitability could be regained once an alternative source of income was found through the use of warehousing capacity at its former Ringsend glass production site.
It is currently in litigation with Dublin Port Company, from whom the site is leased, over the use of the site and a court decision is not expected until next April.
Meanwhile, Ardagh, which failed in its bid to acquire the Canadian assets of glassmaker Consumers Packaging last year, is now actively pursuing acquisition opportunities in Europe, Kilty said.