Profits slip at medical devices firm

Pre-tax profits at the main Irish arm of medical device manufacturer, Cook last year dipped marginally to €17.8m in spite of revenues soaring.

New accounts filed by Cook Ireland Ltd show that revenues at the US-owned firm nearly doubled from €222.5m to €430.7m in the 12 months to the end of December last.

The company’s business at Limerick underwent massive expansion last year with the numbers employed there increasing by 24% or 151 from 624 to 775. Staff costs last year rose from €26.13m to €33.3m.

Pretax profits decreased from €18m to €17.8m.

The firm’s European Distribution Centre became operational at its Limerick base in 2012.

According to the directors’ report, the group has a large customer base of hospitals and clinics in Western Europe and also exports to distributors in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as supplying products to the North and South American and Asia Pacific markets.

The directors state that “sales continued to grow in 2012 despite ongoing pressure on healthcare budgets in many countries with profitability remaining consistent with the prior financial period”.

The directors state that they expect pressure in healthcare budgets to continue in 2013, but are confident the group is well positioned to grow.

In Apr 2013, Cook voluntarily withdrew one of its vascular stents made at Limerick based on a small number of complaints received.

The directors state that Cook Medical has conducted an exhaustive quality assessment and audit of the affected components to ensure satisfactory performance of the delivery system.

The report states that following approvals from various regulatory authorities the product returned to global markets in Jul 2013 and “the group is currently not in a position to make a reliable estimate of the financial effect of the recall”.

The firm’s accumulated profits last year stood at €121.49m, with shareholder funds standing at €136.2m. The firm’s cash reduced from €8.23m to €2.44m.

The Irish firm is led by Bill Doherty and the accounts show that aggregate remuneration, including pension contributions for Mr Doherty and three other directors last year, increased from €349,350 to €364,024.

The amount the firm spent in R&D last year increased from €2.894m to €3.287m.

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