Norbrook's profits hit by 5pc drop as Tory donor pays himself €4m
Northern Ireland-based firm also made €100,000 donation to Conservative Party
Pre-tax profits at Northern Ireland-based Norbrook Laboratories fell last year but founder Edward Haughey still managed to pay himself £3.46m.(€4.07m)
The pharmaceutical group saw profits slump 5pc to £15.8m, despite a 12.3pc jump in sales to £180.6m in the 12 months to the end of August.
Mr Haughey established his veterinary pharmaceutical business in 1968 and it employs more than 1,500 in Northern Ireland and a further 1,500 worldwide, selling to 120 countries with manufacturing plants in four continents.
Dundalk-born Mr Haughey, also known as Lord Ballyedmond, also operates a subsidiary in Co Monaghan called Norbrook Laboratories (Ireland).
Accounts at the unit showed its accumulated profits increased by €2.32m from €9.8m to €12.1m in the same financial year. The subsidiary markets and distributes veterinary pharmaceutical products.
Operating profits fell 5pc to £17.87m. The unit paid a dividend of £2.5m during the year.
The directors' report for the parent company says "the group saw continued improvement in its turnover across all of its business activities during the period with turnover increasing to £180m". Sales rose "due to our broader product range, increasing customer loyalty and improved product quality and availability".
Accumulated profits increased from £62.9m to £71.4m last year, while payroll costs jumped 20pc to £48.5m.
The group increased its R&D spend last year from £8.1m to £11m, with the directors stating that the group continued to devote significant resources to R&D in order to remain at the forefront of its industry".
During the year, the group made charitable donations totalling £377,082 and political donations of £100,000 to the Conservative Party.