Monday, May 20, 2024

Profits fall at Cork-based Kearys Motor Group despite record €280m turnover 

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A “very successful” surge in post-pandemic demand saw turnover at Cork-based Kearys Motor Group reach record levels last year, increasing by 21% to a total of more than €280m.

New accounts show the group’s turnover increased by €50m in the twelve months ending in February 2023 as activity returned to normal levels following the disruption of the pandemic, with last year also seeing the group acquire the Dublin-based Renault Retail Group Ireland.

The group also acquired certain assets related to the Cork Rent-A-Van business, a van leasing operation, with the directors for the Keary-controlled MRBP Motors Unlimited Company adding that they would “explore opportunities for expansion of activity into the future.”

“We’re very happy with the year that we’ve had,” said Brian O’Brien, Group Finance and Commercial Director at Kearys. Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Mr O’Brien said last year saw growth across the business, with turnover reaching a record high.

“It’s been a very successful year. We saw a lot of growth with the acquisition of Kearys Renault Belgard, but also a lot of organic growth.”

Operating profit in the year totalled €8.5m, down from the €9.2m reported in 2022, as supply chain delays and rising costs impacted the business. The group’s pre-tax profit fell by 8% in the year, totalling €8.1m, down from €8.8m in 2022. 

“We, like nearly every other business saw our costs rise this year, from energy to distribution to employment costs,” Mr O’Brien added.

The group’s gross margin was lower year-on-year, with a gross margin percentage of 6.4% falling short of the 6.9% posted in 2022. 

Operating costs rose by 22% in the year, which the group attributed to increased wages and salaries costs and higher depreciation charges arising from additions. 

“These factors resulted in a reduction in the group’s operating profit and profit for the financial year compared to the prior year,” the group said.

However, the company’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was higher compared to the prior year, growing from €11.1m to €11.8m in 2023.

Newly-filed accounts also show a surge in employee numbers across the family-owned group following its acquisition of the Renault business, with the group’s staff base rising from 296 to 378 in 2023. Wages and salaries paid by the group totalled more than €16m, up significantly from €12.3 in the previous year.

The directors remuneration halved in the year, falling from just over €1m to €507,000 in 2023, with the number of directors falling from three to two in the same period. 

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