Alps Electric returns to profit as 150 staff hired in last nine months

A CO Cork electronic parts manufacturer confirmed yesterday that it has employed an additional 150 staff in the past nine months following a recovery in the global automotive industry.

Managing director of Alps Electric (Ireland) Ltd, Brendan O’Shaughnessy confirmed the 150 jobs increase at the company’s Millstreet plant, which brings the number employed there to more than 560.

The jobs boost has received no publicity until now, and Mr O’Shaughnessy said: “We do things quietly here.”

He made his remarks when asked to comment on the company returning to profit in the year to the end of March last year.

Figures recently returned to the Companies Office show that the Japanese-owned firm recorded a pre-tax profit of €5.1 million in 2010, having recorded a pre-tax loss of €3.5m in 2009.

The company returned to profit last year after revenues increased by 15% from €50m to €58m.

Mr O’Shaughnessy said he expects the company’s revenues to increase to around €70m in the current year, but declined to state what level of profit the company will record.

“We are very pleased with how the company is performing. We are expanding nicely and we look forward to continued growth,” he said.

The firm’s customers include Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover and Mr O’Shaughnessy said 100% of the company’s products are exported to Europe and China.

The increase in revenues and return to profit quickly follows a restructuring in 2008-09 when the company reduced its workforce by 94 in response to a 30% drop in revenue in fiscal year 2009.

According to the directors’ report: “As a result of the cost reduction activities undertaken in the previous financial year, the efforts of all employees and a recovery by our customers, the financial results for the year show a good turnaround compared to the previous year.”

The company last year paid a dividend of €3.3m, following a dividend pay-out of €1.3m in 2009. Its accumulated profits at the end of last March stood at €9.6m.

Staff costs last year reduced by 20% from €16.1m to €12.8m, while the company also sustained €220,126 in redundancy costs, following redundancy costs of €1.1m in 2009. Directors’ salaries last year reduced by 15% from €325,527 to €276,620.

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