Lisney MD 'happy' despite fall in profits
The managing director of one of the country's largest property firms, Lisney, says he is "happy enough" with last year's performance, in spite of pre-tax profits decreasing by 79pc to €117,872.
New figures lodged with the Companies Office show that pre-tax profits at Lisney Ltd declined sharply from €560,132 to €117,872 in the 12 months to the end of March last year.
This followed the firm's gross profit decreasing by 13pc from €8.5m to €7.4m.
James Nugent pointed out that non-cash items, including a provision of €432,144 for an impairment on an inter-company loan and a €150,000 property write-down, contributed to the loss.
"The performance last year was in line with expectations. I am particularly pleased that we managed to increase our cash balance from €355,382 to €581,452 and reduced the amount owed to the firm from €2.5m to €1.8m."
Mr Nugent said: "Any business hopes for better profits, but last year was not a bad result in the current climate."
He said Lisney recorded double-digit percentage growth in the value of residential property sales in the 12 months to the end of December 2012.
"My sense is we are through the worst of it and people in the company here are a lot more comfortable than they were this time last year. With our costs reduced, we are much more optimistic about the future ."
He said there was evidence of a marginal increase in Dublin property prices, due in part to a reduced supply of residential property.
Lisney plans to relocate from its flagship St Stephen's Green HQ to a new city-centre office before the end of the year.
"We are expecting to increase revenues in 2013 and see growth. It is a really competitive and tough environment. You have to be on your toes and chase everything. The industry was in a very complacent place in 2004-06 and that has really changed now."
The firm's profits last year took account of non-cash depreciation costs of €244,528. The firm had shareholder funds totalling €1.5m that included €721,030 in accumulated profits.
The accounts show that remuneration to Lisney's directors has fallen dramatically since the property-boom era.
Twelve directors shared €941,216 in remuneration that included pension payments last year. This compares with 13 directors sharing €5.9m in remuneration in 2007. Numbers employed by the firm dropped from 96 to 90 last year, with employment costs declining from €4.9m to €4.5m.
The firm's operating expenses last year totalled €6.8m compared with €7.7m in 2011.