Losses deepen at school books publisher CJ Fallon

Educational publisher says pandemic has had no financial impact

School books publisher CJ Fallon says it has been financially unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic but it is still heavily loss-making, accounts filed this month suggest.

The private equity-backed publisher recorded losses of almost €3.9 million for the period to the end of May 2019, according to financial statements signed off by its board within the last fortnight. The accounts cover a 17-month period as the company changed its reporting dates. It made a loss about €1.5 million in the previous 12-month period.

Overall, CJ Fallon’s revenues were €17.8 million for the 17 months, compared with €14.5 million for the previous 12 months.

Any pro-rata comparisons between the two periods to suggest a declining trajectory in sales could be misleading, however, as the 17-month period still only includes one summer-autumn season, when the majority of educational texts are sold in the back-to-school period.


According to the accounts, CJ Fallon had a deficit on its balance sheet of €19.9 million on the reporting date. Almost all of its sales come from the Republic, with minimal revenues from Europe and the UK of less than €100,000. It owed bank loans of €11.6 million and had 36 staff.

The company is controlled through entities registered in the Isle of Man.

CJ Fallon was previously controlled by Alan Dargan's private equity group Lonsdale Capital. In 2015 there was a management buyout led by its chief executive, Brian Gilsenan, and backed by US private equity group Levine Leichtman Capital Partners.

CJ Fallon completed a €25 million refinancing funded by Bank of Ireland about three years ago.

The accounts signed off this month say the company suffered “no financial impact … on operations, cash flows or financial condition” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is Business Affairs Correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Caveat column