Tuesday 24 October 2017

Rise in Mercedes sales drives profits up at car importer O'Flaherty

The principal activity of the group is the importation of cars, including the Mercedes brand, into Ireland.
The principal activity of the group is the importation of cars, including the Mercedes brand, into Ireland.

Gordon Deegan

Soaring sales of Mercedes cars helped pre-tax profits at one of the largest family businesses in the country jump by 49pc to €36.29m.

The increase in profit for Dublin-based O'Flaherty Holdings and subsidiaries follows revenues soaring at the group by €31.5m from €349.5m to €459m last year.

The principal activity of the group is the importation of cars, including the Mercedes brand, into Ireland.

The group is also engaged in the manufacture and distribution of aerial access equipment and the rental of construction equipment and tools. The directors state that during the year, the group exited its fabrication and installation of custom heating, ventilation and air conditioning business in the US.

The numbers employed by the group last year increased from 1,110 to 1,164 made with staff costs going up to €55.39m.

The group benefited from increased sales of Mercedes Benz in Ireland last year.

Figures provide by the Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) show that sales of the high-end car last year increased by 27pc going from 2,076 to 2,634.

SIMI figures for the first 10 months of this year show sales of Mercedes have increased again going up by 44pc to 3,765 on last year's corresponding period

The group's balance sheet remains strong, with shareholder funds totalling €234m including accumulated profits amounting to €202m. The group's cash during the year decreased from €48.25m to €46.59m. The group paid a dividend last year of €8m and this followed a dividend payout of €8m in 2014.

A note attached to the accounts states that the €8m dividend paid during the year is reclassified as a reduction in debt due to a restructuring of ordinary shares into C shares.

The firm recorded post tax profits of €28.78m after paying corporation tax of €7.5m.

Emoluments and fees to directors last year increased to €1.8m. The group's non-cash depreciation costs last year totalled €5.6m.

The accounts disclose that a member of the O'Flaherty family repaid in full €1.1m that was owed to the group at the start of 2015. The group's cost of sales last year increased from €285.7m to €366.2m.

On the group's motor business, the directors state that the company "depends on the continuing ability of the suppliers of those brands which is represents to make available to it products which appeal to customers at prices which permit it to maintain satisfactory levels of market share in what continues to be a weak market".

Meanwhile, Volvo Ireland has announced that its Galway dealership, Kenny Galway Limited, has gone into receivership. The company has said it is working with Brian Kenny to address outstanding issues and that Mr Kenny has agreed to "look after" customers where possible.

The company said that Mr Kenny was now looking for a new premises, but that in the interim, customers of Kenny Galway should go to Volvo.ie in order to locate their nearest Volvo dealership.

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