Friday 15 December 2017

Windfall €400,000 dividend for Killybegs fish export firm

The fishing port of Killybegs. Picture: Jason McGarrigle
The fishing port of Killybegs. Picture: Jason McGarrigle

Gordon Deegan

Shareholders at the one of the country's largest fish exporters, Sean Ward (Fish Exports) Ltd shared a dividend wind-fall of €400,000 last year, new figures show.

The Killybegs-based firm is co-owned between the Ward and O'Callaghan families and new figures show that the four shareholders, Sean Ward, Muriel Ward, Michael Callaghan and Brid Callaghan shared the €400,000 dividend payout through their ownership of parent firm, Fimarex.

The accounts for Sean Ward (Fish Exports) show that pre-tax profits at the firm declined by 32pc to €3m in spite of a very marginal increase in revenues from €41.64m to €41.9m in the 12 months to the end of July 31.

The firm has been situated at Killybegs for over 20 years and specialises in the processing of pelagic fish: mackerel, herring, blue whiting and sprat. The company exports to Europe, Africa, Russia and the Far East, including China.

The firm is one of the largest exporting companies operating in Ireland's seafood industry which contributes about €700m annually to national income and employs 11,000 people with Killybegs the largest fishing port.

According to the directors' report, the directors "feel that the continuation to this level of turnover is materially dependent on national quotas of Pelagic species and the ability to purchase same".

The firm has also two state of the art factories and has blast freezing capacity for 500 tons per day along with cold storage for 12,000 tonnes.

Last year, the firm's cash increased from €695,201 to €5.4m and shareholder funds at the end of July last totalled €22.2m.

The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €719,294. The figures show that the firm's operating profit decreased 30pc to €3.3m.

Lower pre-tax profits were mainly attributable to higher cost of sales last year increasing from €34.57m to €36m.

Interest payments totalled €308,520. Distribution costs last year increased from €1.58m to €1.77m with administrative expenses increasing from €733,297 to €765,365.

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