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Sean Mulryan’s Ballymore pays €17m dividend in UK business

Business controlled by Irish developer pays €1.3m in directors’ fees

Developer Sean Mulryan. Photograph: Eric Luke

Developer Sean Mulryan and two others shared directors’ payments of more than €1.3 million from his Ballymore group’s British business last year, the latest accounts show.

Ballymore Ltd, which is responsible for part of the Irish construction and property firm’s British operations, and subsidiaries also paid a £15 million (€17 million) dividend for the 2020 financial year. It made no such payment in 2019. Its ultimate parent is Ballymore Properties Unlimited Company, the Irish-based group controlled by Mr Mulryan, its founder.

The accounts also state that Ballymore Ltd transferred some investment properties to a newly-incorporated group controlled by Mr Mulryan after its year end on March 31st, 2020.

Mr Mulryan, along with fellow directors, UK finance director David Pearson and John Mulryan, shared directors’ payments totalling £1.18 million sterling (€1.34 million) in the 12 months to March 31st last.

The highest-paid director received £978,867, the accounts state, although they do not name the individual. The directors’ payments for last year were almost three times the £396,687 paid in 2019, when the highest-paid director received £200,000.

The figures show that Ballymore Ltd and subsidiaries, paid employees, including directors, £2.7 million in wages, social security and pension contributions last, against £1.7 million in 2019. The accounts state that the company had no employees.

Ballymore would not comment when asked if the £2.7 million included directors’ pay. The group does not comment on its financial statements. However, it pointed out that Ballymore Ltd represented only part of the group’s UK activities.

The group had a net asset value of £600 million at year end. The accounts note that Mr Mulryan and his family have other property-development and construction-management interests, with which the group works closely.

London is home to a “significant concentration” of Ballymore’s assets. “Despite the risks and uncertainties associated with Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, we continue to be positive on the long-term outlook for London as a global city with continuing appeal to businesses and people wanting to live in a vibrant environment,” the directors say in their report.

Ballymore Ltd and Subsidiaries’ profit after tax rose about 12 per cent to £97 million in the 12 months to March 31st, 2020, from £87 million in its 2019 financial year, the accounts show.

Turnover

Turnover doubled to £111.1 million from £55.5 million in 2019 mainly due to the sale of a property to another company within the Ballymore group.

A breakdown of the company’s turnover showed that £67 million came from the sale of properties last year, against £6.4 million in 2019. It earned £39.7 million last year from contracting, management fees and other sources.

Net assets rose to £198 million on March 31st last from £116 million 12 months earlier.

It owed its banks £58 million at the end of its last financial year, almost double the £29.8 million due on March 31st, 2019.

According to the accounts, the main bankers were Irish lender AIB and Investec. Ballymore (London Arena), a subsidiary, had a facility with AIB allowing it to draw up to £30 million. This was due to end in July this year, but the parties agreed to extend that repayment date to July 2022.

Ballymore Ltd and Subsidiaries’ operations produced 2.7 million kilograms of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases during its last financial year, against 5,383kg in 2019, the accounts note.

The increase was due to the group taking on the cost of employees’ business flights previously charged to a “sister group” and its decision to take partial ownership in an aircraft.

Conversely, the closure of its marketing suite helped cut energy consumption to 31,442 kilowatt hours last year, from 224,684 kilowatt hours in 2019.

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