Tuesday 10 December 2019

Bord na Mona reports record profit of €50.3m

Gabriel D'Arcy, CEO, Bord na Móna and John Horgan, Chairman, Bord na Móna.
Gabriel D'Arcy, CEO, Bord na Móna and John Horgan, Chairman, Bord na Móna.

Colm Kelpie

BORD na Mona has reported record profits for last year with a strong performance across all divisions in the group.

The commercial semi-state company, which owns about 200,000 acres of land, said operating profit was up 114pc to €50.3m, while profit after tax jumped 263pc to €33.5m.

The company is set to partially merge with Coillte, with the process estimated to take about two years.

The peat harvest was the fourth highest recorded in the group's history.

Bord na Mona chief executive Gabriel D'Arcy said the results were a product of the company's commitment to sustainable business operations.

"They are particularly encouraging as the group continues to expand into other more sustainable and non-peat related business area," he said.

Turnover increased marginally to €426.8m, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of €90.9m was up 48pc on the previous year.

Peat accounts for less than half of Bord na Mona's business, with strong results also reported in other divisions. Turnover in the Resource Recovery business grew €8.9m in the year to a record €80.3m, driven by an increase in customer numbers and increased volumes into the waste facility at Drehid, Co Kildare. Turnover increased marginally in the Powergen business also, while its consumer and professional business reported a challenging year due to the "adverse impact" of carbon tax on the demand for solid fuel products and mild weather.

Bord na Mona also said that it is seeking planning permission for a large smokeless coal manufacturing facility and was in the final stage of a site selection.

The annual report shows Mr D'Arcy's remuneration increased to €322,000 from €317,000, due to a salary rise.

The chief executive said there would be a further reduction in staff to reflect the transformation of the business and the dismantling of the peat supply chain. He said the majority of cuts would come from so-called natural wastage. About 100 positions have been cut in recent years from a peak workforce of 2,500.

The company said a significant focus during the year was on the continued expansion of the wind energy portfolio, with Mountlucas and Bruckana wind farm investments of €175m in total nearing completion. They are expected to begin generating revenue from the second half of this year.

Irish Independent

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