Business Irish

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Pre-tax profits at Irish arm of biotech company Genzyme plummet 25pc

Gordon Deegan

Pre-tax profits at the Irish arm of biotechnology firm Genzyme dropped by 25pc last year, in spite of revenues topping €1.2bn.

Accounts just filed with the Companies' Office show that Genzyme Ireland Ltd recorded a drop in pre-tax profits to €32.3m, but revenues increased 8pc in the 12 months to the end of December last.

Established in Waterford in 2001, Genzyme Ireland is the primary distribution centre for many of Genzyme's major treatments, and its products and services are focused on rare inherited disorders, kidney disease, orthopaedics, cancer, transplant and immune disease, and diagnostic testing.

Worldwide, Genzyme employs 10,000 people and, in 2011, French pharma giant Sanofi-Aventis purchased Genzyme for $20.1bn.

In Ireland the company employs a little less than 500 people.

The plant at Waterford has shown rapid growth in recent years, with the company's turnover increasing more than fivefold since 2007 when revenues of €219.3m were generated.

The drop in profits last year is attributed to a €21.99m charge relating to an impairment of tangible fixed assets of €21m with the cost of decommissioning impaired assets of €996,000.

A note attached to the accounts stated that "the current year impairment charge has been recognised in respect of an oral dose facility that was decommissioned during the course of the year.

"Incidental costs of decommissioning these assets in the amount of €996,000 have also been recognised."

The figures show that the firm doubled its R&D spend last year, rising from €5.9m to €11.7m.

Emoluments paid to the firm's four Irish directors – general manager Dominic Carolan; accountant William Murphy; manufacturing director Patrick O'Sullivan and HR director Paul Shanahan – doubled last year to €2.4m.

The returns show that Mr Shanahan and Mr O'Sullivan resigned as directors of the firm in July of this year.

The company paid €7.7m in taxes last year, up from €6.8m paid in 2011. Staff costs decreased from €38.5m to €36.6m in 2012.

Cost of sales, including marketing and R&D, increased from €23m to €56m, contributing to the drop in profits.

The accounts show that the company's cost of sales last year increased from €1.10bn to €1.16bn. The firm's cost of sales include a royalty charge of €553.5m.

The filings show that the company's gross profit rose by 40pc, increasing from €80.2m to €112.3m.

Irish Independent

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