Latest annual accounts to be lodged with the Companies Registration Office, on behalf of the third largest stockbroking firm in the country, show that before costs and tax were accounted for, the company made a profit of just €66,000. In the previous year it generated a pre-tax profit of €956,000. According to the directors’ report, management was “satisfied with the level of turnover and the result achieved in a competitive market” last year.
The 2009 results also show a significant drop in revenue, from €38.86 million to €27.45m, and a slight widening in NCB’s annual operating losses, from €735,000 in 2008 to €798,000. Investment revenue fell from €2.34m to just over €1m.
Despite the deterioration in financial performance, the company still managed to pay out a combined dividend just shy of €1.25m to shareholders. More than half of NCB’s 135 employees have a shareholding in the firm. The 2009 dividend was, however, well down on 2008’s pay-out of €6m.
There was also a marked reduction in directors’ pay last year, with the total dropping to €1.36m from just over €2m in 2008. Chief executive Conor O’Kelly, finance director Graham O’Brien, head of corporate finance Liam Booth, head of wealth management Greg Dilger, joint head of equities Tommy Conway and chairmanBreffni Byrne make up the main board. Total staff costs dropped from €22.5m to just over €14.7m.
The company remains 75% owned by its directors and employees, with the Quinn Group owning the remaining 25%. Quinn chief executive Liam McCaffrey has been a non-executive board member at NCB for the past six years.
NCB, founded by financier Dermot Desmond in 1981 – has been under its current ownership structure since 2003, when Mr O’Kelly led an €18m management buyout from previous owner Ulster Bank.
Fexco’s acquisition of Goodbody Stockbrokers from AIB, formally closed the era of bank ownership in Ireland’s stockbroking community.