Saturday 25 May 2019

Ballymore positive on London despite Brexit threats

Outlook: Directors at Sean Mulryan’s Ballymore say economic fundamentals in London are positive
Outlook: Directors at Sean Mulryan’s Ballymore say economic fundamentals in London are positive

Gordon Deegan

Pre-tax profits at part of Sean Mulryan's Ballymore Group firms in the UK have this year declined by 96pc to £22.2m (€24.7m), though it still managed to pay a dividend to its parent company.

According to new accounts, Ballymore Ltd and its subsidiaries recorded the sharp decrease in pre-tax profits from £533.2m (€594.7m) to £22.2m in the 12 months to the end of March.

Revenues declined 85.5pc, to £100.37m at the unit.

Underlining the scale of the Ballymore operation in the UK, the directors state that "Ballymore Ltd and subsidiaries now represents a relatively small part of the group's operational UK business activities, which comprise certain property development and investment interests, rather than those consolidated interests of the wider group".

According to the directors' report, following the sale of significant development sites to related parties in 2016 and 2017, the Ballymore Group is now focusing on its remaining development sites, which are at an early stage in the planning process.

Directors said: "This has resulted in lower revenues in the current year, but is expected to be profitable in the medium to longer term for the group."

They added that while some uncertainty is expected in markets after the Brexit vote, they "still believe the economic fundamentals are positive for London".

The group, which is engaged in the development and sale of residential property in London, paid a dividend of £10m to parent firm, Trapol.

Ballymore exited Nama in 2016, and directors point out the group's development sites are in the London metropolitan area and are well-placed to benefit from the positive long-term outlook for London.

The pay to directors of Ballymore Ltd totalled £397,000 (€442,787) with the highest-paid director receiving pay of £200,000 (€223,000). The group's revenues were broken down between £95m (€106m) in property sales and £5.19m (€5.79m) in rental income.

The group recorded operating profits of £5.8m (€6.46m) and benefited from a £9.7m (€10.8m) share of profit with a joint venture and £6.76m (€7.53m) of interest receivable and other income. At the end of March, the group had accumulated profits of £21.65m (€24.14m) and its cash pile reduced from £135m (€150.5m) to £131m (€146.1m).

Irish Independent

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