Saturday 10 December 2016

Details of Lagan's €3m deal to buy rival firm are revealed

Published 10/03/2011 | 05:00

ACCOUNTS filed for Lagan Cement have revealed that the company signed a €3m deal to buy Cork-based rival Healy Brothers in March last year.

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The takeover of Healy Brothers was announced at the time but financial details were not disclosed.

Now, accounts filed with the Companies Registration Office show that Lagan Cement paid €2m in cash for Healy Brothers on March 31, 2010, with a further €1m payable in equal instalments over the following three years.

Lagan Cement Ltd, based in Kinnegad, Co Westmeath, is owned by Northern Ireland's Lagan Cement.

The company is ultimately controlled by brothers Kevin and Michael Lagan. In December, they were named as Northern Ireland's wealthiest property investors with assets worth £350m (€407m) by property bible 'Estates Gazette'.

Accounts for the year to the end of March 2010 show that profits at the Republic of Ireland subsidiary held firm in 2010, despite falling sales.

The company generated after-tax profits of €5m in both 2010 and 2009. Profits held up even as sales dropped to €44.8m from €58.6m over the same period.

Decline

Last year's 8.5pc fall in sales comes after a 12pc decline over the previous year.

The decline in revenues saw operating profits fall by nearly a quarter, down €2m to €6.4m in the year to the end of March 2010. The accounts also revealed that Lagan suffered a loss of €1.5m on the sale of carbon emission rights.

Irish cement companies were allocated carbon emissions allowances by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2008 based on the expected usage over the coming years. The allowances set out the amount of carbon businesses could use in a given year -- fines are levied if the target is exceeded but companies are allowed to sell excess capacity.

Despite that, Lagan's bottom line was boosted by a huge fall in the amount of interest the company paid on its bank loans.

Interest payments more than halved from €3.2m in 2009 to €1.4m after the company repaid €7.2m of loans in the year.

Administration costs also came down substantially during the period -- from €17m in 2009 to €13.8m last year.

At the end of 2010, Lagan Cement had bank debts amounting to just under €50m. It has retained profits in excess of €27m. Income from the new Healy subsidiary was not included in the 2010 totals.

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