€300k dividend windfall for fish firm's owners
The owners of one of the largest fish exporting firms in the country shared a dividend windfall of €300,000 in 2014, new figures show.
But accounts recently filed with the Companies Office show that pre-tax profits dropped sharply at Sean Ward (Fish Exports) from €3m to €825,992 in the 12 months to the end of July 2014.
The Donegal-based firm recorded the drop in profits in spite of revenues increasing by 13pc, going from €41.9m to €47.2m.
The dividend payout of €300,000 followed a payout of €400,000 in 2013.
It was paid to the company's parent firm, Fimarex, which is controlled by Sean Ward, Muriel Ward, Michael Callaghan and Brigid Callaghan.
The company has been situated at Killybegs for over 20 years and specialises in the processing of pelagic fish - mackerel, herring, blue whiting and sprat - with the company exporting to Europe, Africa, Russia and the Far East, including China.
It is one of the largest exporting companies operating in Ireland's seafood industry, which contributes about €700m annually to national income and employs 11,000 people with Killybegs the largest fishing port.
The firm's profits declined after the company's cost of sales and administrative expenses increased sharply.
The figures show that the cost of sales increased from €36m to €41.4m while administrative costs went up from €765,365 to €2.92m.
The directors state that the continuation of this level of turnover is materially dependent on national landing quotas of pelagic species and the ability to purchase the same.
Accumulated profits at the firm totalled €21.65m.