Engineering company Mincon has reported an 18% increase in operating profit before exceptional items for the year to the end of December, while revenues for the year declined.

The Shannon-based rock drilling engineering company said its operating profits rose by 18% to €15m on the back of significant shareholder payments in the previous year.

Buts its gross profit fell by 1.2% to €25.7m as revenues fell by 17% to €52.343m from €63.143m in 2012. The company said the volatility in the currency markets impact on its net profitability for the year, especially the devaluation of the South African rand and the Australian dollar. 

During what it described as a "landmark year" for the company, Mincon listed on the Dublin and London stock exchanges.

Mincon's chief executive Kevin Barry said that during 2013 the company furthered its stated aim of increasing its market share of the global rock-drilling consumables market.

"Demand for Mincon manufactured product remained stable and broadly in line with expectations for the year, with the reduction in revenue due to the weakening of certain key currencies in which we trade, namely the South African rand and Australian dollar which devalued on average by 21% and 11% respectively," Mr Barry said.

Shares in the company were 7% lower by the close of business in Dublin trade.

Earlier this year, Mincon said that its two biggest shareholders would give the company's employees €1.2m from their own private funds to reward them for their hard work.

Company founder Paddy Purcell (through Kingbell Company) and Kevin Barry (though Ballybell Limited) have initiated the "employee recognition plan".  The money is due to 140 eligible employees across the group and will be based on years of service with a payment of €1,000 per staff member per year of service. 

Mincon makes a range of rock-drilling hammers and bits for a variety of industries including mining exploration, mining production, oil and gas drilling, water well drilling, geothermal drilling and seismic drilling.