Pre-tax profits at specialist student and independent travel firm Usit last year decreased by 65% to €239,380 as costs increased.
According to accounts just returned to the Companies’ Office, Usit Ireland Ltd recorded the drop in pre-tax profits from €686,270 to €239,380 as gross revenues fell 7% from €24.47m to €22.8m.
The drop in net revenues was at a much lower rate of 1% from €5.87m to €5.81m.
The directors say the firm’s operating profit before depreciation and amortisation was €731,891 compared to €1.172m last year.
The principal activity of the group is the distribution of travel and work abroad programmes in Ireland to the student and youth sector.
The firm makes a sizeable portion of its revenues from its involvement in the US J1 visa programme with around 8,000 applications processed by the US embassy this summer for the programme.
According to the directors’ report: “Despite a challenging economic environment, the group performed extremely well as it continued to drive business through niche and new offerings.”
The directors add that “the group will continue to focus on the growth of niche and sustainable earnings”.
On the firm’s future, the directors say “despite a challenging environment, the group continues to trade robustly as it adapts its offerings to meet the patterns of you who are seeking out work, study and educational opportunities abroad”.
The figures show that the numbers employed by the group fell in 2014 from 86 to 84 with staff costs increasing from €3.4m to €3.75m.
A breakdown of the employee number shows that 58 are engaged in selling with 26 in administration.
Directors’ remuneration increased in 2014 going from €160,737 to €178,269 with operating lease rentals increasing from €430,812 to €432,492.
The group’s selling costs in 2014 totalled €2.49m compared to €2.47m in 2013 with administrative expenses increasing from €2.29m to €2.58m.
Interest payments reduced the firm’s profits by €28,291 while the firm recorded a profit of €5,475 on the sale of fixed assets. A corporation tax bill of €59,242 resulted in a post-tax profit of €180,138.
At the end of the year, the group had accumulated profits of €974,268.
Shareholder funds totalled €1m. The group’s cash increased from €424,706 to €842,366.
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