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Galway company C&F into profit again after €13.9m windup costs

 

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Businessman John Flaherty

Businessman John Flaherty

Businessman John Flaherty

Galway businessman John Flaherty's manufacturing firm C&F Tooling booked a €4.5m profit after tax and exceptional deductions last year.

This comes after it absorbed €13.9m of losses in 2018 from the windup of its automotive division and anticipated costs of winding down its manufacturing operation for small wind turbines.

Accounts just filed reveal the Athenry-based firm, whose automotive division also employed hundreds of staff in Co Westmeath, employed 573 people last year, down from 944 employees in 2018.

In April last year, Flaherty, an engineer and former winner of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award, shut down C&F Green Energy, a wind turbine business division in which he had invested up to €30m over previous years.

The business had been affected by regulatory issues at the time in Japan and the lack of feed-in tariff support in certain markets.

The company had also hoped to achieve substantial sales in the US, having invested considerable time and effort there.

In September 2018, Flaherty sold the car parts division of his business, C&F Automotive, to its managing director, Westmeath businessman Tom Hyland. Customers of the firm had included BMW, Mercedes, VW and Ford.

The terms of the sale were not disclosed at the time, but it was understood to have a turnover of about €26m prior to the sale.

It's understood that Flaherty's C&F Tooling business has extended a factory and invested in new machinery at its operation in Athenry, with a particular focus on precision sheet and structured metal fabrication, design and tooling.

The 2019 accounts for C&F reveal that its revenues took a €28m hit last year, falling to €48.6m from €77.4m.

The amount it owed to creditors reduced from €24.9m in 2018 to €16.9m at the end of last year, with net liabilities falling by €8.5m. At the end of last year, it had €16.1m in shareholders' funds, up from €10.9m at the end of 2018.

"The outlook for 2020 remains very positive. [Prior to the pandemic] the turnover for 2020 was forecast to grow by 14pc with a forecast ebitda of 15pc for the year," the accounts stated.

Sunday Indo Business