CASTLE View Corporate Holdings, the Bridge of Allan-based business with interests in sports centre management, weight management, and food production, has expressed gratitude for the support it has received from the UK Government and English local authorities where it provides services.

It said the Covid-19 cash cushion helped its main leisure business subsidiary, SLM, “survive a year of zero income” and it is now beginning to restore its finances.

It revealed that “after some years of substantial pre-tax profits, the business is anticipating an eight figures loss in its year just ended to March 31, 2021”, but it hopes the end of lockdown and the removal of restrictions on public access to sports facilities will “herald a rapid return to a pre-pandemic trading climate”.

Martin Bell, group managing director of CVCH, said: “If it had not been for the financial support we have received over the past twelve months from both the UK Government and many of the English local authorities to which we provide leisure management services, we would not be around today."

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CVCH recorded sales of £261 million in the year to March compared to £240.15m in 2019. Following a net write-off arising from revaluation and sale of fixed asset investments of £5.38m, including its investment in NuCana plc, a Scottish NASDAQ-quoted biotech, business, profit before tax fell from £10.26m in 2019 to £5.3m.

CVCH’s main subsidiary, Leicestershire-headquartered Sports and Leisure Management Group (SLM), which operates around 200 leisure centres under contracts with 65 local authorities in England, saw a nine per cent rise in turnover to £247m. Closure of all the group’s facilities in March 2020 resulted in a reduction in its profitability in the year of 0.5% to £9,427,460.

At Cambuslang-based UIN Foods, control of overheads allowed a modest increase in sales and gross margins, resulting in a £169,000 increase in 2019’s pre-tax profit to £192,000.

A demerger of the group’s investment activities to a new business, Orchard Venture Capital Limited, reduced net assets in CVCH’s ongoing trading arm from £44.39m to £28.28m.