Disasters hit firm’s profits

Two natural disasters helped push the Cork-based unit of manufacturer Alps Electronics into the red last year.

The Japanese manufacturer employs nearly 500 people at its Millstreet plant and accounts show that the firm recorded a pre-tax loss of €90,895 in the 12 months to the end of Mar 31 this year. This followed the firm recording a pre-tax profit of €988,923 in 2011.

The directors’ report cites the Japanese earthquake in Mar 2011 and flooding in Thailand later that year as resulting in exceptional costs that disrupted the firm’s supply chain.

The figures show revenues for Alps Electronics fell 7%, from €64.1m to €59.4m.

The loss last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €1.8m.

According to the directors’ report, the disasters did not affect customers, although, “we did incur exceptional costs in terms of air freight and overtime to recover our supply chain situation”.

The directors state: “We have continued our internal improvement programmes to increase efficiencies and reduce costs and waste through the efforts of all employees. We have also worked to introduce new products and develop/secure additional business for future years.”

Alps Electronics makes electronic parts and modules for the automotive industry.

It said staff costs rose from €14.7m to €15.6m. Accumulated profits fell to €8.4m and no dividend was paid following a payout of €2m in 2010.

According to the directors, “the weakness of the euro against the US dollar and Japanese yen increased the cost of parts purchased in those currencies. A programme of localisation to European parts and changing to in-house production has and will alleviate, but not eliminate, this exposure.”

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