Investment spend dragged accumulated profits at well-known Cork fishmonger K O’Connell Fish Merchants down by over €122,000 in its last financial year, newly-filed accounts show.
Accounts for the 12 months to the end of last June show the company’s accumulated profits fell from €808,148 to €685,610. The filings show the business recorded revenues of €2.22m in 2015 but no revenue figure is provided for last year.
The drop in profit reflected the spend on the business last year, with management carrying out a €250,000-plus revamp, which it added is already paying dividends.
The English Market- based fishmonger rose to international prominence in 2011 when company head Pat O’Connell starred in the most celebrated image of Queen Elizabeth’s historic visit to Ireland, when she visited the fish stall.
Speaking yesterday, Mr O’Connell said a new system of controlling the number of tourists in the English Market “is working fantastic”.
The system was introduced after Mr O’Connell and other traders at the English Market voiced their concerns over the impact the ‘snap-happy’ tourists were having on business.
Asked last year how often tourists take photos of him at the stall, Mr O’Connell said: “All day long every day. It gets absolutely insane some days.
“We don’t have a problem with tourists but we do have a problem when there are 60 of them arriving at the one time and they are all standing together and your local customer can’t get at the counter and they are ‘snap’, ‘snap’, ‘snapping’ away.”
However, yesterday, Mr O’Connell expressed satisfaction with the new system that limits the size of tour groups to eight persons.
He said: “They now have time to chat with the traders so it is working out well for everyone.”
The new protocols at Ireland’s oldest indoor market came into force in March and have been designed to facilitate and structure tours of the busy food market, while maintaining the day-to-day running of a market where up to 400 people work in 46 businesses.
Numbers employed by Mr O’Connell’s business remained static last year at 10 but staff costs increased marginally to €324,066.
Directors’ pay for the year totalled €112,331. That included €6,095 in pension contributions.
The company has financial assets worth €856,680 and tangible assets with a book value of €111,831.
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