Cook Ireland Ltd is one of the largest employers in the west of Ireland, employing 795 at its Limerick base, and new figures show that pre-tax profits last year reduced from €17.8m to €1.48m.
The sharp decrease came in spite of revenues increasing by just under 5%, from €430.7m to €450.8m in the 12 months to the end of December last.
According to the firm’s directors’ report, profitability was impacted by normal trade foreign exchange losses and the global voluntary withdrawal of one of its vascular stents.
The directors state that the product was back on the market within three months of the recall notification.
The directors state that they expect pressure of healthcare budgets to continue in 2014 but are confident that the group is well positioned to grow.
The firm’s European Distribution Centre became operational at its Limerick base in 2012.
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 North and South American and Asia Pacific markets.
The directors state that “sales continued to grow in 2013 despite ongoing pressure on healthcare budgets in manˆy countries”.
The accounts show that the firm’s foreign exchange loss was €7.3m but the cost of the stent recall is not quantified.
The firm’s accumulated profits last year stood at €125.4m with shareholder funds standing at €139m. The firm’s cash increased from €2.2m to €7.6m.
The firm’s staff costs last year increased from €32.2m to €35.5m, with the staff breakdown showing that 410 were employed in administration; 273 in direct manufacturing, 74 in indirect manufacturing and 38 in engineering.
The Irish firm is led by Bill Doherty and the accounts show that aggregate remuneration for him and three other directors last year increased from €340,156 to €345,590.