Wednesday 26 November 2014

Daft.ie brothers share in €4.45m windfall from internet empire

Gordon Deegan

Published 10/11/2012 | 05:00

INTERNET entrepreneurs Eamon and Brian Fallon shared a €4.45m dividend last year as the owners of the daft.ie and journal.ie websites continue to see sales rise.

The 30- and 35-year-old brothers from Rathgar in Dublin shared the windfall with other shareholders in the Distilled Media Group.

The payout follows a €2.9m dividend in 2010 which means shareholders have taken €7.37m in dividends in the past two years.

The dividends are confirmed in accounts just filed with the Companies Office by Distilled Media Group which show that pre-tax profits at the group last year decreased by 6pc from €1.84m to €1.72m.

The dip in pre-tax profits came as sales soared 14pc to €7.51m last year.

Young

Property website daft.ie was established in 1997 by Eamon and Brian Fallon when they were just 20 and 15.

As part of a group restructuring last year, Distilled Media acquired Daft Media and Daft Media's shares in boards.ie and Adverts Marketplace with the deal valuing Daft Media and the shareholdings in the two firms at €27.8m.

The group now operates multiple brands, including boards.ie, adverts.ie, thescore.ie and property.ie along with daft.ie and thejournal.ie.

The most recent independently audited ABC figures show that Distilled Media is the country's largest online publishing group in terms of unique monthly users. Monthly page impressions totalled 223m.

For comparison, rte.ie recorded 3.8m monthly unique browsers and 117.2m monthly page impressions.

The numbers employed by the company last year increased from 42 to 53.

The group is currently hiring and in an interview earlier this year, Distilled Media boss Eamon Fallon -- who bought his first car in 2012 -- confirmed the group intends to have 150 employees within two years.

Staff costs at the group last year increased from €2.4m to €3.1m. The dividend payout last year reduced the firm's accumulated profits to €901,206. At year end, the firm's shareholder funds stood at €1.32m. The group's cash last year increased from €1.8m to €2.7m.

The group's cost of sales increased from €355,672 to €585,138 with administrative expenses increasing from €4.39m to €5.2m.

The directors' report says "the group is reliant on the advertisement of goods and services for sale on the internet" but directors are confident that advertising growth will continue.

Irish Independent

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