Troubled card firm secures rent change

Thu, Jan 5, 2012, 00:00

JOHN HINDE, the postcard company renowned for its iconic images of thatched cottages and sweeping Irish landscapes, has emerged from examinership.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly has approved a scheme of arrangement for the company, which involves a change to its existing contract with its landlord, Solitude Ltd, at its premises at the IDA business park in Bray, Co Wicklow.

John Hinde sought court protection from its creditors in September due to a combination of falling tourist numbers and high rents. The company had lost money in three out of the last four years and had let go a number of staff.

On October 7th, Mr Justice Kelly appointed Alan McLean of Whiteside Cullinan as examiner to the company. However, the judge was critical that the company had incurred debts of some €120,000 to the Revenue through not paying employee PRSI.

In a statement yesterday, John Hinde said the majority of its 21 jobs in Ireland were secure.

It said that while trading in the domestic market would continue to be challenging in the coming years, the company anticipated sustained modest growth.

John Hinde was set up in 1956 by English photographer John Hinde and his wife.

John Hinde Ltd is the Irish division of the Wicklow-based Hinde Group, which has operations in Britain and the US and focuses on personalised gifts and souvenirs.

The international businesses are separate from John Hinde Ltd and are not affected by the local company’s problems.