Aramark reduces staff numbers by 653 as losses mount in pandemic

Accounts for Avoca owner show it received €15.8m in wage subsidies from Government last year

The Avoca outlet on Suffolk Street in Dublin, which is owned by Aramark. File photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

The Avoca outlet on Suffolk Street in Dublin, which is owned by Aramark. File photograph: Tom Honan/The Irish Times

 

Avoca owner Aramark Holdings Ireland reduced its staff numbers last year by 653 as pandemic restrictions pushed the company into the red.

Accounts just filed for the company show that its headcount reduced to 4,587 in 2020, compared with 5,240 the previous year. The wage bill fell from €132.1 million in 2019 to €103.4 million in 2020, with the company receiving €15.8 million in wage subsidies from the Government during the period.

The Aramark accounts show losses jumped to almost €60 million in the 12 months to October 2nd 2020, from €14.9 million a year earlier.

Revenue fell to €238 million, down from €336 million in 2019, with the reduction in turnover attributed mainly to the pandemic. Non-essential retailers were forced to close their doors after the Government introduced emergency measures in March to try to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Its business in the Republic accounted for the bulk of its turnover, at €222.9 million. That was down from €300.1 million in 2019. Aramark’s unit in the UK accounted for €15.6 million, compared to almost €30 million in the prior year.

Earnings before interest, depreciation, tax, amortisation and intangible impairment before one-time profit restructuring and related costs was a loss of €10.7 million in 2020, from a profit of €3.62 million in 2019.

Restructuring and related costs were €31.4 million for the year.

Pandemic impact

The directors noted the business had been “significantly impacted” by the pandemic, with several sites closing and others seeing reduced activity. The accounts noted costs had been tightly controlled, with contracts renegotiated to take account of the difficult trading environment and the company utilising State support schemes. The directors also took the decision to write down the value of intangibles as a result of changes in a number of factors, including the new growth outlook.

Intangible assets were just under €50 million, down from more than €86 million in 2019.

Although the prospects of the vaccine were encouraging, the accounts noted, the directors took proactive action to ensure the business could thrive despite the pandemic.

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