Merrion hikes pay despite hefty losses

Directors’ pay levels at Dublin-based drug development company, Merrion Pharmaceuticals increased by almost €700,000 last year, despite the company’s net losses doubling.

The company — which underwent management changes during 2011 and began a new strategic cost-cutting plan — paid its board of directors a combined total of nearly €1.38m for the year. This figure was up on the combined remuneration of €696,684 in 2010.

Former chief executive John Lynch pocketed €804,343; up from a total package of €404,684 in 2010. His replacement, Jonathan O’Connell — who was formerly Merrion’s chief financial officer — saw his package total €357,689. The basic salaries of those two executive directors amounted to €685,429 and €295,845, respectively.

Merrion’s latest annual report does not give a prior year’s comparison for Mr O’Connell’s pay level as he was not a board member in 2010, only having been elected to the board last May.

Chairman Michael Donnelly saw his total remuneration package fall marginally, last year, from €36,634 to €31,150.

Merrion is currently developing its headline in-trial drug, Orazol for a number of different therapy uses, including metastatic bone disease and breast cancer. It also has an ongoing collaboration agreement with Danish healthcare company, Novo Nordisk.

The company recorded a net loss of €6.53m in 2011; up from a loss of €2.51m for 2010. Operating losses in the year also increased from €2.36m to €6.22m.

Total revenue for the year was also significantly down — going from €4.68m in 2010 to €1.24m. The company said that its rising net losses was “largely due to a decrease in revenue, when compared to the prior year”.

Merrion’s restructuring plan, due to be completed this summer, is set to reduce the company’s monthly operating costs by €175,000. The board said that the result would be a sustainable company through to 2014.


There is just one universally heard buzz word in the wine world these days and that is ‘sustainability’.Wine List: The top sustainable wines to buy right now

Esther N McCarthy finds funky fabric and Bantry baskets as well as exploring virtual galleries. Wish List: In pursuit of funky fabric and Bantry baskets

Pubs have been closed across this island for over two months. Can you imagine if they were closed for 14 years? To mark the centenary of the introduction of Prohibition in the US, Robert O'Shea selects examples of its cultural legacyWhat did Prohibition ever do for us?

Des O'Driscoll looks at some of the top picks on the TV today.TV highlights: A new 'make-under' dating show and Kevin McGahern paints celeb protraits

More From The Irish Examiner