Shutdown costs push pharma’s losses to €112m

Shutdown costs push pharma’s losses to €112m

Gordon Deegan

The cost of shutting down the only Irish-based manufacturing plant of pharmaceutical giant Roche, along with the loss of 240 jobs, has contributed to combined pre-tax losses of over €112m at the Irish unit of the business over the past two years.

The Swiss-owned pharma giant announced in 2016 that it was to close the plant at Clarecastle, Co Clare, after it failed to secure a buyer for the site.

The facility is currently in the process of a phased closedown with the site to be shut, and all jobs lost, by the end of next year.

Newly filed accounts show Roche Ireland Ltd last year recorded pre-tax losses of €33.3m, which followed pre-tax losses of €79.3m in 2016 — a total of €112.6m.

Revenues at the company last year declined by 16% to €67.9m. The accounts show that the firm has set aside €23.15m in redundancy payments for employees not yet departed but who have an expectation that their jobs will be lost by the end of next year. The accounts say this money will be utilised “by that date”.

The accounts disclose that a capital grant of €1.45m from the IDA in 2014 has been paid back in full following the decision to shut down the plant.

A note attached to the accounts also states that a decommissioning provision of €9m was recorded by the end of last year while Roche also recorded an impairment charge of €8.8m during the year.

As part of the gradual wind-down, the numbers employed at the plant last year declined from 223 to 131, with staff costs reducing from €25.97m to €16.8m.

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