Pre-tax profits at Irish-owned pharmacy chain, Sam McCauley, halved last year to €1.94m.
New accounts filed by the Co Wexford group, which operates 28 pharmacies and employs 550 staff, show that revenues dipped by 4%, from €77.1m to €74.16m.
The chief factor for the 54% drop in pre-tax profit, in the year to the end of September 30 last, was a €1.1m write-down in the value of financial assets.
The firm last year paid a €500,000 dividend to its shareholders, and €1m to shareholders in 2013.
The firm has been in business for 40 years and has a presence in counties Carlow, Cavan, Cork, Dublin, Kerry, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford and Wicklow.
According to the directors’ report, “2014 was a year of consolidation and the directors are pleased with the performance achieved in a retail market that continued to be difficult outside the larger population areas”.
The directors state that “the outlook for 2015 is better and the group is well-positioned to benefit from the expected improvement in consumer confidence and spending”.
The group last year reduced its bank debt from €16.7m to €13.4m.
At the end of September last, the group had shareholder funds of €31.8m, which included accumulated profits of €19.4m.
The firm’s cash pile last year decreased sharply, from €14.4m to €1.14m.
The group’s operating profit reduced by 31.5%, from €5.48m to €3.76m.
Interest payments totalled €610,181. The firm’s cost of sales last year reduced from €44.79m to €42.77m, and this was partially offset by an increase in administrative expenses, from €27.15m to €27.94m.
The group incurred a €558,345 tax bill, which gave the group a post-tax profit of €1.38m
The pharmacy chain last year incurred €1.76m in acquiring fixed assets, while its investment in Uniphar plc totalled €750,000.
Numbers employed by the group last year decreased from 579 to 554, with 486 in retail and distribution and an additional 68 in administration.
Staff costs increased from €14.1m to €14.35m, while remuneration to directors increased from €881,134 to €961,372, including €281,118 in pension payments.
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