Business Irish

Monday 22 April 2019

Profits at Fexco more than double to €13.7m as it continues to expand

Fexco CEO Denis McCarthy
Fexco CEO Denis McCarthy
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Operating profit at Kerry-based financial services group Fexco more than doubled to €13.7m last year as it benefited from acquisitions and what it said was a strong year for its foreign exchange and payments operations.

Income at the group, which is controlled by founder Brian McCarthy and his family, rose 8pc to €211.8m.

The group also had net assets of €349m and cash of €182m at the end of 2017.

Fexco has a broad number of business interests, and provides foreign exchange services around the world. It employs more than 2,300 people. Earlier this year, it agreed to sell Goodbody Stockbrokers, the Dublin firm it acquired majority control of from AIB in 2010 for €24m.

Goodbody is being sold to Chinese firm Zhongze in a deal reportedly worth €150m. The sale remains subject to regulator approval.

Fexco also benefited this year from the sale of the Irish Stock Exchange to Euronext for €158m, a deal that was completed in March. Goodbody owned a 26.7pc stake in the exchange.

Fexco said the sale will realise a one-off gain of €23.5m that will be reflected in its accounts for 2018.

The Kerry firm has also taken a significant minority stake in Airborne Capital, a specialist aircraft leasing and asset management company.

This year, Airborne Capital entered a partnership with L1 Treasury to establish AltitudeOne Aviation. The new company, with an initial $250m of capital from its owners, will invest in narrow-body and wide-body jets.

Fexco CEO Denis McCarthy said that the group's performance was boosted last year by organic growth and acquisitions. He added that its "conservatively managed" balance sheet enables it to pursue growth opportunities.

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