The group behind Newbridge Silverware last year returned to profit to record pre-tax profits of €1.04 million.

New accounts filed by Rossbawn Ltd show that the business returned to profit after revenues increased by 5% from €11.52m to €12.06m.

The firm's range includes the Amy Huberman collection and last year’s pre-tax profit of €1.04m follow pre-tax losses of €1.937m in 2020 - a positive swing of €2.98m.

The directors state that the improvement in performance came as part of a profit improvement plan which has helped return the group to profitability.

The directors also state that the group was able to benefit from an increased trading period in 2021 compared to 2020 "due to the easing of Covid-19 restrictions".

The group last year paid no dividend and in 2020, the business paid out a dividend of €520,989 to group holding companies and during the same period the business availed of €249,938 in Covid-19 wage subsidy supports.

Addressing the 2020 dividend payout in the new accounts, the directors state that "the dividend was paid to the company's holding companies and they in turn used the monies to pay historic debts owed to a company within the group".

The directors stress: "All funds remained within the group at all times and no dividend was paid to the ultimate shareholders or any individuals connected with the company."

The group last year received €1.08m in Covid-19 supports made up of Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme supports of €910,028 and €170,839 in Covid Restrictions Support Scheme (CRSS).

A note states that the group "was in compliance with all the conditions of the respective schemes in both years".

On the performance of the business last year, the directors state that overall, they "are satisfied with the group performance during the year, and are confident that current trading levels can be maintained for the year ahead".

Numbers employed by the business last year reduced from 134 to 124 as staff costs decreased from €2.83m to €2.25m.

Directors' pay last year increased from €312,697 to €495,588 made up of remuneration of €407,755, pension contributions of €64,833 and fees of €23,000.

The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €586,953.

At the end of December last, the business had accumulated profits of €15m.

The group’s cash funds reduced from €4.76m to €3.93m.

- reporting by Gordon Deegan