Belfast Telegraph

£18m in charity donations hit profits at Glen Electrics

By Gordon Deegan

Pre-tax profits at one of Northern Ireland's biggest employers more than halved last year to £19.35m. Glen Electric, in Newry, is estimated to account for around half of Dublin-based Glen Dimplex's overall business, and new figures show that the chief reason behind the sharp drop in pre-tax profits was the firm making charitable donations of £18.3m last year.

The accounts show that £17.8m of the donations went to the Naughton Foundation.

The foundation was established by one of Ireland's most successful industrialists and founder of Glen Dimplex, Martin Naughton, and his wife, Carmel, in 1994.

Projects the couple have funded here include the Lyric Theatre, which benefited from a £1m donation in 2007 - marked in the naming of the Naughton Studio.

Glen Electric is the largest manufacturer of domestic heating appliances in the world, with a range of more than 400 products, and employs 4,830 people here.

Revenues at Glen Electric declined by 5.5% from £765.49m to £723.22m in the 12 months to the end of last March.

The company is led by chief executive and chairman Sean O'Driscoll with Michael Maher and Fergal Naughton - son of Martin and Carmel Naughton - also sitting on the board.

Another son, Neil, and daughter Fiona are also involved in the Glen Dimplex business.

Directors' emoluments last year totalled only £11,000.

The firm last year paid a dividend of £1.6m, and its balance sheet remains very strong with shareholder funds standing at £361m.

Net assets included cash totalling £241m, and the company's pre-tax profits last year took account of non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs of £15.8m.

The group did benefit from a foreign exchange gain of £10.2m.

According to the directors' report: "The directors will continue to develop the principal activities of the group and identify areas with further growth potential and acquisitions, which would increase value".

The accounts show that the firm's operating profit last year decreased by 11%, going from £39.6m to £35.14m. The group made a profit of £2.5m on the sale of a fixed asset, while interest and finance costs of £2m reduced the profits to £41.75m, along with charitable donation reducing profits to £19.35m

A breakdown of revenues shows that the EU is the business's largest market, accounting for £559m of sales. Revenues in North America accounted for £78m, with revenues throughout rest of the world totalling £60m, and sales in the rest of Europe accounting for £25m.

Numbers employed by the firm last year reduced by 147 from 4,977 to 4,830, and staff costs last year decreased from £183.54m to £180.66m.

A breakdown of the numbers employed show that 2,671 are engaged in production, 1,330 in selling and distribution, 462 in administration and 367 in R&D.

Glen Electric's revenues account for 20 subsidiaries, with seven based in England, one in Northern Ireland and units in Germany (3), France (2), Austria, Holland, Canada, Norway, the US, New Zealand, Australia and Japan.

Belfast Telegraph