Glencullen will no longer fund pension plan
THE GLENCULLEN Group of businessman Bill Cullen has informed the trustees of its employee defined pension scheme that it will no longer be funding it.
The impact of the development on the scheme could not be ascertained last night.
“We have notified the trustees that we no longer intend to fund the defined benefits pension scheme,” a spokesman said. “As we are in discussions with the trustees, we cannot comment further.”
The Glencullen group operates a number of Renault dealerships and car sales showrooms. On July 6th, the outlet in Galway ceased trading while the outlet in Ennis, Co Clare, ceased trading on June 22nd. The two Dublin outlets, in Airside, Swords, and Liffey Valley, remain in business.
In 2007 some employees of the group involved with the importation of Renault vehicles transferred to a scheme run by the French company, when it took direct control over the importation of the marque into Ireland from the Glencullen group.
How many employees remain involved in the Glencullen scheme is not known.
The latest accounts for Glencullen Holdings Ltd are for the year to the end of December 2010. They say that during that year, the group experienced significant growth as a result of the Government’s scrappage scheme and a successful scrappage scheme operated by Renault.
The group recorded a pre-tax loss of €1.4 million, following a pre-tax loss of €10.49 million the previous year. Group shareholders’ funds at the end of the period were €8.3 million.
The group had an average of 124 staff during the year, down from 172 the previous year.
The accounts do not indicate that the scheme was under any stress at that stage.
Turnover for the group in 2010 was €52.48 million, up from the previous year’s €26.36 million.
Mr Cullen is one of Ireland’s best-known business figures, not least from his involvement in the Apprentice TV show. He is also the author of a highly successful autobiography, It’s a Long Way from Penny Apples.