Belfast Telegraph

Parent company gave almost a third of pre-tax profit to Christian causes

By Staff Reporter

New details of the financial dealings at Wrightbus' parent company in recent years have emerged.

Almost a third of pre-tax profit at the Cornerstone Group was donated to fund Christian, evangelical and other causes between 2010 and 2017.

Its accounts, analysed by The Irish Times, over the seven-year period show it donated £15.38m to "fund the group's commitment" to those charitable causes.

In that same period, Cornerstone made an accumulated profit of £34.5m with 2010 and 2017 being the loss-making years. Without the donations, that would have been as high as £49.8m.

In 2017, one loss-making year, directors received £1.6m in emoluments while the company's pre-tax loss amounted to £1.7m.

Had the directors cut down on their pay and pulled back on their charitable donations, the company would have been profitable.

At the end of 2017, Cornerstone had £6.2m in the bank and a £9.7m overdraft.

Wrights Group, one of the companies that has entered administration, paid £12.9m to its parent company between 2014 and 2017, The Irish Times' analysis found.

In that period, when it made an accumulated profit before tax of £42.5m, the company also paid rent of £1.05m to a "related party".

In the year Cornerstone made a £5m donation to charitable activities, Wrights Group paid a £4m dividend.

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