Farmer Business Developments plc, has posted substantial profits of over €50m for 2020, but will not be paying a dividend to its shareholders.

Often referred to as “the co-op” or “the Group”, it experienced big losses from its hotel business interests in Ireland and Spain, which were hugely affected by COVID-19. This was more than offset by the performance of German subsidiary Bulberry Properties, leaving an overall profit of €50.69m.

Land sales

Bulberry received almost €100m from land sales in 2020. With the Willy Brandt airport adjacent to the lands they held now finally operational, the remaining 33,000sq m will be held until the market recovers from COVID-19 disruption.

Revenue from the leisure business was down from €63m to €24m, a drop of 62%. Irish hotels were closed for half of 2020, but Spanish hotels were closed for 42 weeks last year.

With uncertainly around the hotels business, and some of the cash from Bulberry’s sales not due until 2023, the decision was taken not to pay a dividend this year.

Shares continued to trade on the grey market through Davy, averaging 90c/share last year, a drop of 8c/share on 2019.