Sunday 25 February 2018

Merck drug plant saw a 26pc drop in pre-tax profits last year

Accounts just filed by Organon (Ireland) show pre-tax profits dropped €50m
Accounts just filed by Organon (Ireland) show pre-tax profits dropped €50m

Gordon Deegan

Pre-tax profits at an Irish arm of pharma giant Merck last year fell 26pc to €141m, new figures show.

Accounts just filed by Organon (Ireland) with the Companies Office show that pre-tax profits dropped €50m after revenues decreased by 2.6pc to €792.6m last year.

Numbers employed by the Dublin-based firm last year increased by 70 to 591 with the firm's staff costs totalling €38.9m.

The Swords plant sells to 44 countries around the world and its main activities on site relate to the manufacture of women's health products.

The plant is part of the MSD group in Ireland – formerly known as Merck Sharp and Dome – which employs over 2,000 in Ireland today.

The chief factor behind the drop in profit was a €24m increase in the cost of sales going from €605m to €629.8m while administrative expenses increased from €15.5m to €21.1m.

Organon has branches in Ireland and Switzerland and according to the directors' report "the directors consider that during the year, the development of the business was in line with expectations and that major production and sales targets were achieved".

The firm did not pay a dividend last year after paying a dividend of €32.8m in 2011.

The figures show that the firm's accumulated profits totalled €727m. Its total shareholder funds totalled €1.1bn that includes a capital contribution of €374.3m.

The firm's largest market is Europe, accounting for 62pc or €497m of revenues with €99.1m of the firm's revenues generated in the US while €155.5m of revenues was generated in 'other'.

The figures show that €40.2m of revenues was generated in Asia. The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs totalling over €10m.

The report states: "The group has moved to mitigate this risk by ensuring a strong product pipeline by increased spending on research and development."

Irish Independent

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