Saturday 15 December 2018

Profits surge at Usit as students flock for J1 visas

Stock picture
Stock picture

Gordon Deegan

Operating profits at specialist student and independent travel firm Usit last year increased more than four-fold to €298,890.

According to accounts just returned to the Companies' Office, they show that Usit Ireland Ltd recorded the jump in operating profits in spite of net revenues decreasing by 1.6pc, from €5.8m to €5.7m.

The company enjoyed the increase in operating profits mainly as a result of restructuring costs plummeting from €214,140 in 2015 to €11,087 last year.

Gross revenues last year declined by 16pc, from €22.8m to €19.2m. The company's gross income in Ireland fell by 18pc, from €22.23m to €18.19m, and this was partially offset by UK revenues almost doubling, from €573,010 to €1m.

The principal activity of the group is the distribution of travel and work abroad programmes in Ireland to the student and youth sector.

The firm makes a sizeable portion of its revenues from its involvement in the US J1 visa programme.

Around 8,000 J1 applications were processed by the US embassy in Dublin's Ballsbridge last summer.

Usit's pre-tax profits fell by 44pc, from €457,017 to €256,536. This was largely a result of interest receivable of €380,797 in 2015 becoming interest payable of €42,354 in 2016.

According to the directors' report: "Despite a challenging economic environment, the group performed extremely well as it continued to drive business through niche and new products."

Numbers employed by the group increased in 2016 from 97 to 98, with staff costs increasing from €3.27m to €3.38m.

A breakdown of the staffing shows that 61 are engaged in selling and 37 in administration.

Directors' remuneration declined from €97,601 to €69,500, with operating lease rentals increasing from €442,412 to €457,071. Accumulated profits stood at €270,873.

Irish Independent

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