All Leisure sells loss-making cruise ship
Market Harborough-headquartered All Leisure Group has sold its 43-year-old loss-making cruise ship Discovery.
Liberty Resources Inc of the Bahamas paid m (£3.1m) in cash for the vessel.
The cruise operator, which specialises in the over-55s market, wrote down the value of Discovery in February (2014) to about £9.9m with a plan to sell it by the end of the summer.
"Although the consideration received is less than the current book value of the vessel, the board's decision to sell Discovery to Liberty also took into account the absence of the future liabilities and other uncertainties associated with many other bids," All Leisure said in a statement to the stock exchange.
The losses attributable to the Discovery ship for the year ended 31 October 2013 were in excess of £3m, contributing, along with the relocation of the head office, to a pre-tax loss for the period of almost £14m.
All Leisure, whose tour brands include Travelsphere, Voyages of Discovery and Swan Hellenic, added that several higher offers were made for the boat but had weaker cashflow profiles given the prospect of staged payments over several years.
During these extended payment periods, the group would have remained responsible for warranting the vessel and the forthcoming winter lay-up costs of the vessel, together with the costs of meeting the requirements of the dry docking regime.
"It was the board's considered view that is was therefore in shareholders' best interests to accept the lower cash offer in full and final settlement," it said.
All Leisure also confirmed the appointment of Kevan Witts to the role of interim group finance director. Chris Gadsby stepped down from the role but remains with the company until mid-December. A search for a replacement finance director is under way.
Political unrest in the Ukraine hit trading at All Leisure Group in its first half and the cost of relocating its head office to Market Harborough also contributed to widening pre-tax losses.