Business Irish

Saturday 27 May 2017

Ford Ireland pays €70m dividend despite loss

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John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Ford's Irish operation agreed to pay a €70m dividend to its immediate UK parent in respect of its 2010 financial year even as the unit posted a pre-tax loss of almost €1m, compared to a €1.5m profit a year earlier, new accounts for the business show.

The introduction of the scrappage scheme by the previous government also helped the motor company nearly double sales here in 2010 to just under €174m, according to the latest set of accounts.

But the figure was still substantially lower than the levels of activity reported by the company during the boom years.

In 2007, turnover at Henry Ford and Son Ltd was €430m, while in the same year it reported an operating profit of €1.7m.

Last year, it swung to an operating loss of €2.1m after recording an operating profit of €1m in 2009. Yesterday in the US, the Ford corporation said it made $1.65bn (€1.19bn) in the three months to the end of September -- its 10th quarterly profit in a row.

Losses

But shares in the company fell as it notched up losses on commodity price bets for raw materials such as aluminium and copper.

According to figures from the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, Ford sold 11,215 passenger cars in Ireland last year, making it the number one seller ,with a 12.7pc share. Toyota was its closest rival, selling 10,660.

Ford was also the biggest seller of light commercial vehicles in Ireland last year, shifting 2,073 units. In 2007, Ford sold 21,256 passenger cars here.

The accounts for Ford's Irish business -- which tallies sales of both vehicles and spare parts -- show that its selling and distribution costs fell last year to €5m from almost €6.7m a year earlier, while the wages and salaries bill rose to nearly €2.5m from €2.3m.

At the end of the 2010 financial year, before the €70m dividend was paid to the UK parent, Henry Ford and Son had reserves totalling almost €75m.

New car sales in Ireland in the first nine months of 2011 were 4.76pc higher on the corresponding period in 2010, but in September this year new car sales slumped 35pc, compared to September 2010, as the scrappage scheme ended in June.

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