Sunday 21 January 2018

McCambridge bill in legal battle with rival hits €460,000

The two wholewheat bread packaged products
The two wholewheat bread packaged products

Gordon Deegan

The bill to McCambridge in its legal battle against rival bakery Brennans almost topped €460,000, new figures show.

The cost to the Dublin firm in protecting the integrity of its product in the courts is confirmed in new accounts lodged with the Companies Office that show that the bread maker returned to profit last year.

Accounts lodged by McCambridge show the firm recorded a pre-tax profit of €386,096 last year following a pre-tax loss of €682,361 in 2011 – a positive swing of over €1m.

The firm returned to profit after gross profit rose 4pc to €3.92m in the 12 months to the end of last June.

The filings show that the firm's profits were last year hit by an exceptional cost of €195,156 in legal costs. The company paid €265,000 under the same heading in 2011. It is understood that the majority of the costs relate to McCambridge's long-running battle with Brennans over bread packaging.

McCambridge emerged triumphant in the case last August when a majority Supreme Court decision dismissed an appeal by Joseph Brennan bakeries against a High Court decision that Brennans had passed off its wholewheat bread as being the product of McCambridge.

In the High Court, Judge Michael Peart found that Brennans didn't deliberately set out to imitate the McCambridge's packaging and ruled that McCambridge could recover just 40pc of its legal costs from Brennans.

McCambridge is the market leader in Ireland's traditional brown bread market with around 30pc of the market

The accounts show that McCambridge recorded a separate exceptional cost of €1.25m relating to a waiver of loans receivable from other group companies.

The figures show that before the exceptional items are factored in, the firm made an operating profit of €1.85m last year – an increase of 5pc of the €1.77m in operating profits recorded in 2011.

The accounts show that the firm's accumulated profits last year increased to €9.2m.

Numbers employed by the firm remained at 51 with 23 in operational staff, 17 in distribution and 11 in management and administration.

Irish Independent

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