The lessor of Fountain drink vending machines
released the annual figures for 2019 on Friday evening – with a lot of delay. Sales fell by 4.6 percent to 24.4 million euros, but this is partly due to Fountain’s strategy to divest unprofitable customers. The net result of half a million euros is mainly due to a tax benefit. Net debt has fallen to 3.2 million euros, or 2.6 times gross operating profit (EBITDA).
The banks ING, BNP Paribas Fortis and CBC (KBC) and the Walloon government institution Sogepa have granted a repayment delay for two maturing loans of 250,000 euros each.
However, 2019 is a long way off. Since Fountain mainly supplies companies and the self-employed in Belgium, France and Denmark, the lockdowns required by Covid-19 have taken a toll. Despite the introduction of temporary unemployment in Belgium and France, Fountain had to draw up a new ‘optimization plan’ (read: cost savings).
The Covid19 crisis has pushed Fountain into financial difficulties. The banks ING, BNP Paribas Fortis and CBC (KBC) and the Walloon government institution Sogepa have granted a repayment delay for two maturing loans of 250,000 euros each. The directors have declared their variable wages for 2019 and 2020, and some of them part of their fixed wages.
The group wants to implement a capital increase to continue its strategy. A general meeting will be convened for this purpose in the coming weeks.
In addition, Fountain negotiates fresh money with the banks (including a moratorium on the main bank loan), with the Walloon Sogepa and with the reference shareholder QuaeroQ. Fountain also goes to new credit institutions and Belgian and French government vehicles.