Waterford: directors pay up 31% in 2008

Directors at Waterford Crystal were paid 31% more by the company in its last full financial year before it went into receivership along with the other companies in the Waterford Wedgwood luxury goods …

Directors at Waterford Crystal were paid 31% more by the company in its last full financial year before it went into receivership along with the other companies in the Waterford Wedgwood luxury goods group on 5 January 2009. Accounts for Waterford Crystal Ltd. lodged with the Irish companies office show that its 14 directors earned EUR 2.1 million between them in the year to the end of April 2008. This compared with EUR 1.6 million in the previous financial year, when 11 directors were employed by the group. The emoluments include pension contributions and “other” payments although no breakdown is provided. The board was chaired by Kevin McGoran. The accounts also showed that Waterford Crystal“s pension deficit rose to EUR 68.6 million at the end of April 2008 compared to EUR 55.8 million a year earlier. The deficit for the Waterford Wedgwood group, which includes the UK and other operations, is more than EUR 111 million. Waterford Crystal paid EUR 4 million in redundancy to 96 workers who left the group in 2008. Remaining workers are facing substantial reductions in their pension entitlements and union representatives met the Tnaiste (deputy prime minister) on 12 January 2009 to discuss the issue. They are seeking the establishment of a fund to protect pension benefits. Waterford Crystal“s accounts give a picture of the 13.6% slump in crystal sales which, along with poor demand for its china and tableware products, pushed the group into insolvency. Crystal sales in 2008 were EUR 116 million. While sales at Ireland were flat at just more than EUR 30 million, its revenues from the United Stated declined by 19% to EUR 67.8 million. Sales to “other” countries declined to EUR 18.3 million in 2008 from EUR 20.2 million in fiscal 2007. Waterford Crystal accumulated total losses of EUR 41.1 million that year.