Operating profits at the country's largest privately owned waste management business in 2018 increased by 15% to €23.7m.

That is according to accounts for Beauparc Utilities Ltd which show that the business enjoyed the surge in operating profits in 2018 as revenues soared by €76.98m or 27% from €285.9m to €362.89m.

Numbers employed by the group - which operates the Panda brand - increased by 136 from 1,266 to 1,402 and the group’s staff costs went up 18% from €46.8m to €55.17m

The directors state that the objective of the group is to become a significant utility provider, initially trading in Ireland, the UK and gaining a greater presence in European markets.

The group recorded a marginal decline in pre-tax profits to €18.7m after finance costs of €3.7m and exceptional costs of €1.3m relating to acquisitions.

The directors said that they are very pleased with the integration of the businesses within the Beauparc Utilities Group and the group is benefiting from significant operational synergies.

A breakdown of revenues show that €295m was generated in Ireland, €62.6m in the UK and €5.1m in Holland.

The group recorded €262m from waste management services; €62m from the sale of gas and electricity; €36.9m from the sale of recyclables and €1.1m from fleet and plant rental.

The pre-tax profit takes account of combined non-cash depreciation and amortisation of €24.7m. Pay to key management personnel totalled €2.7m that includes €659,000 for consulting services.

Accumulated profits at the group at the end of December 2018, accumulated profits stood at €44.6m. The group's cash reduced from €36.56m to €34.27m.