McMullan profits soar as turnover dips
Operating profit at McMullan Brothers, the company behind the Maxol fuel retailing business, more than tripled last year to €7.3m even as turnover at the group fell 17pc to €534m.
In new accounts filed for the firm, directors note that 2009 was a difficult year for businesses throughout Ireland and the factors that prevailed generally also impacted the Maxol group, with lower demand and pressure on margins.
"Overall, volumes were down and there was a relatively modest reduction in gross profit, which was somewhat compensated for by much less purchase price volatility," they add. The directors also point out that once-off and ongoing costs were reduced and that the process was "greatly assisted by our significant breakthrough in the automation of our ordering and related facilities for service station operators in particular". Those overhead savings helped to propel the operating profit beyond the 2008 level.
The accounts show that distribution costs at the group fell last year to €22.5m from €24.2m, while administrative expenses declined to €10m from €15.5m in 2008. The company also booked a €1.2m profit from the sale of certain assets of Emerald Fuels during the year. A dividend of almost €1.5m was paid during the year. That followed a €1.76m dividend payment in 2008.
The group is controlled by brothers Max, Noel and Malcolm McMullan and Tom Noonan is chief executive. There are over 200 Maxol stations around the country.
The accounts add that the group spent €11m on acquisitions and upgrading retail facilities in 2009 and that 2010 was showing "little sign of improvement" for the business.