Chocolate firm to enjoy a tasty profit

Luxury chocolate maker, Lir Chocolates is on course to record a 47% jump in profits to €420,000 in its current financial year.

Managing director of the Co Meath-based firm, Stephen Cope, confirmed yesterday that the firm is projecting that revenues will increase to €21m.

The firm recorded revenues of just under €19m with profits representing 1.5% of revenues at €285,000 in the year to the end of April this year.

In accounts recently filed with the Companies Office, Lir Chocolates Ltd recorded pre-tax losses of €292,390 in the 12 months to the end of April.

However, Mr Cope said the loss in the accounts is attributable to new accounting policies being implemented as a result of the firm’s UK parent, Zetar, being bought out by German food giant, Zertus last year.

Mr Cope said that 1,200 tonnes of chocolate will be produced by the firm this year and that production at Lir’s plant is “flat out” for Valentines, Easter and spring.

Mr Cope said at peak production, the firm employs 240 with numbers reducing to 120-140 during the less busy summer period.

Mr Cope said that 90% of the company’s products are exported, stating that Zertus purchasing the firm “provides us with great opportunity and we had a very successful launch of the Bailey’s chocolate brand in Germany in September”.

Mr Cope said that Lir produces Baileys and Smirnoff chocolates on licence from Diageo.

The business started in the Dublin kitchen of director, Connie Doody operating a food mixer and a bowl in Christmas 1986, assisted by FF senator Mary White.

Both Ms Doody and Senator White sit on the board and Ms Doody still works in the R&D department.


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