Former Plymouth Argyle chairman James Brent and his wife received £300,000 in dividends after his holding company saw a profit surge despite the Pavilions being badly hit by Covid closures. Accounts for Natatomisam Ltd show it saw its profit jump to £1,838,540 in 2020/21, up from £344,262 the previous year.
The profit hike was put down to the sales of a mid-Devon farm and other investments, and Government grants and insurance policy payments for Plymouth Pavilions and the ice rink when they were forced to shut due to Covid restrictions. Natatomisam’s strategic report for the year to the end of June 2021 said the group was “significantly impacted by Covid-19” and the shutdowns meant turnover was slashed from £7.1m to just £1.3m.
But it said the Pavilions and rink “did however benefit both from Government grants and claims under a ‘business interruption’ insurance policy”. Subsidiary companies Plymouth Pavilions' and South West Ticketing Solutions' separate accounts reveal £832,137 and £170,000, respectively, received in insurance payments.
Natatomisam's statement reveals further insurance payments of £400,000 were received or approved since the year end, including an additional £217,000 paid to the Pavilions in October 2021. Mr Brent said the total amount paid, or agreed to be paid, in total for Plymouth Pavilions Ltd and South West Ticketing Solutions is £1.4m - and more could be on the way. He said: “There is potential for further recoveries in addition.”
Natatomisam profits were also boosted by the sale of property and investments, bringing in £1,969,167 in proceeds, of which £604,000 was profit. The group’s balance sheet also continued to improve with net current assets increasing from £1.2m to £2.4m and shareholders funds from £7m to £8.6m. In March 2021 a dividend of £300,00 was declared and paid to Mr Brent and his wife Nicola Brent, the only shareholders.
The Pavilions accounts show the music venue has jumped from a loss to a profit and increased staffing, and investment is going into the facility. Since mid-2021 the venue and the rink have reopened, and investment includes a new bar, new boilers and a commitment to provide new seating.
Meanwhile, outside Plymouth, Natatomisam is progressing plans for Exeter’s Royal Clarence Hotel site, due to become apartments with a bar and restaurant, and Laceworks, in Barnstaple, a Grade II industrial complex set to become housing. The company also bought Sandhill Park, a Grade II* listed mansion in Somerset, which could also become flats. Natatomisam’s strategic report said: “The group emerges from the pandemic with a strong balance sheet, good liquidity and a positive view of the future