Gowan Group in profit despite weak home goods sector

The managing director of one of the largest family-owned businesses in the country, the Gowan Group, said yesterday that the scarcity of new housing has held back the performance of its appliance and consumer electronics business.

Gowan Group in profit despite weak home goods sector

Michael Dwan made his comment as he welcomed a return to profit for the group in 2014.

Newly filed accounts for Gowan Group Ltd show that the group recorded the pre-tax profit of €1.39m after recording a pre-tax loss of €5.4m in 2013, a positive swing of €6.79m. Last year revenues increased by 29% to €134m.

EBITDA amounted to €1.6m, compared to a loss of €500,000 in the previous year.

The group recorded an operating loss of €1m last year however.

A profit of €850,000 on the disposal of an asset and a €1.65m surplus on a revaluation of properties contributed to the €1m pre-tax profit for the year.

Established in 1969, the Gowan Group distributes Peugeot and Honda vehicles in Ireland.

The group’s fortunes were boosted last year with the 30% national increase in the sale of Peugeot cars to 2,904, with the brand’s car sales for the first 10 months of this year up a further 23%.

Gowan also distributes a number of other blue-chip brand names in Ireland including Senator Windows, Neff, Aga, Elica and Nordmende.

Mr Dwan said: “A welcome return to profit in 2014 reflects an improving economy in Ireland where car and van sales in particular experienced significant gains.”

However, he added: “The dearth of new housing development has held back the performance of our appliances and consumer electronics business but we are seeing evidence of increased activity this year.

“Senator Windows has built on the fine recovery performance of last year and I expect double digit growth in this business in 2015. All in all, we look forward to the future with confidence.”

Numbers employed by Gowan increased marginally from 204 to 209 during 2014, with staff costs increasing from €11.76m to €12m while directors’ pay reduced from €300,000 to €200,000.

The firm’s balance sheet remains strong with shareholder funds of €63m. That includes accumulated profits of €61m. Gowan’s cash pile last year reduced from €16.65m to €15.37m.

The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €2.5m.

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