Overall earnings at Golden Vale Marts (GVM) last year held close to 2021 levels and reached €2.25m before interest, taxes and amortisation.

However, a drop in the ‘fair value’ of investment properties resulted in GVM’s profits falling by almost €3.7m when compared to 2021.

The co-op’s annual report shows that profits for 2022 were €526,000. This is back from €4.215m in 2021.

However, last year’s trading income of €8.78m at GVM was very much in line with the 2021 figure of €8.75m.

A total of 125,000 cattle and calves were sold in GVM’s marts at Kilmallock, Tullamore and Carrigallen last year, an increase of 7,000 head.

The gross value of livestock sales also improved relative to 2021, rising from €96.54m to €112.85m. Income from activities related to livestock and property sales was put at €4.87m in 2022.

In relation to the fall-off in profits, the annual report stated: “The decline compared to prior year is mainly due to a fair value loss on the valuation of investment properties of €937,000, compared to a fair value gain of €2,731,000 in 2021.”

The total value of GVM’s investment properties was put at €37.4m in 2022.

The report pointed out that if the property valuations are excluded, then the business generated a profit before tax of €1.46m in 2022, which is broadly similar to the 2021 figure of €1.48m.

GVM’s property portfolio includes retail, office, industrial and residential and is located primarily in Ireland, Poland and Germany. It generated €3.17m in rents in 2022 or 36% of the business’s total income. Livestock and property-related auctioneering generated 55% of total income.

Overall borrowings at GVM fell last year, dropping from €17.73m to €16.89m. Cash in hand increased to €4.19m.

However, staff costs and wages at the marts group increased by 15% year-on-year, rising from €3.02m to €3.47m. Much of this increase was COVID-related, management said.