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Director pay hike hits profits at seafood group HJ Nolan after HQ sale

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Pre-tax profits at the main firm of fish distributor HJ Nolan last year declined by 10pc to €1.98m.

New accounts show that the main factor behind the drop in profits at HJ Nolan (Dublin) Ltd was pay to directors soaring.

George V Nolan and James Ryan are listed as the directors. Directors' pay increased more than seven-fold last year to €2m from €278,156.

This was driven by a rise in pension contributions to €1.874m from €101,319.

Today, Nolan produces over 500,000kg of smoked conventional, wild and organic salmon.

The new accounts show that HJ Nolan (Dublin) Ltd's accumulated profits increased to €5.9m in the 12 months to the end of March last year.

In January of last year, the firm announced that it was merging with Co Mayo-based Carr & Sons Seafood Ltd.

Separate accounts for Carr & Sons Seafood Ltd show that it recorded pre-tax profits of €366,853 in 2018.

At the end of December 2018, accumulated profits at Carr & Sons Seafood Ltd stood at €1.3m, while the workforce numbered 76.

The company's cash pile increased sharply to €481,594 from €46,627.

In a year of considerable change for the family-owned HJ Nolan, the business took the decision to sell the lands and building of its Dublin HQ.

Last February, An Bord Pleanála gave a plan by NTM ROI Seed Capital LP for 289 student accommodation units at the site on Dublin's Rathdown Road the go-ahead, in spite of some local opposition concerned at the scale of student accommodation planned for the area.

The book value of the firm's tangible assets reduced from €5.2m to €647,608 before depreciation last year, as a result of disposals totalling €4.8m.

At the end of March, the company's cash pile had more than doubled to €6.4m.

Irish Independent