PAM GRAHAM

pamgraham@age.co.nz

Trust House employs nearly 200 fewer staff than it did five years ago but it is trading strongly and talking about expanding.

The owner of bars and cafes and 485 rental houses in the lower North Island says that reducing the number of employees was part of a transformation into an efficient organisation, better placed to support its community and withstand future financial shocks.

In 2013 Trust House had more than 400 employees, and in 2018 it is 230, according to its annual report for the year to March 31, 2018.

There was outrage recently when Fonterra’s accounts showed 5245 people earned more than $100,000 a year. Trust House employs just six people earning more than $100,000.

“The last few years have not been easy, and I am very grateful for the support and loyalty that I receive each and every day,” chief executive officer Allan Pollard said.

Trust House reported a profit of $11.1m, up from $9.5m the previous year. The profit before property revaluations was $4.98m.

Trust House doesn’t pay tax because it is a charity.

Pollard said five years ago the organisation had many non-performing businesses.

“We now take $20m less than we did five years ago but we make about $3m more profit. So that tells a story.”

He said Trust House was now looking to grow and invest more in social housing.

Trading in the new financial year was well ahead of forecast, he said.

“This financial year is looking like it is going to be actually better than what was previously a very good financial year,” he said.

Trust House said its primary reason for being was “giving back to our communities”.

In the latest year Trust House Foundation approved $3.93m in community grants. A total of $122,062

were either not used or refunded to the foundation, leaving net grants of $3.8m.

In addition, Trust House Ltd made charitable donations of $40,000 during the year and provided sponsorships to local groups of $337,449.

It owns 485 rental houses, most of which are former state houses. They were worth $60m at the start of the year and $2m was invested in improving them. That, and an increase in value of $5.8m took the value of the residential portfolio to $68m by the end of the year.

It has already invested $785,000 in capital improvements for its biggest property Copthorne Resort Solway as part of a five-year redevelopment plan.