Joseph Brennan Bakeries, Dublin, had a pre-tax loss of E19.5 million, according to accounts lodged at the Companies Registration Office for the year ended December 31, 2004, writes Ann Marie Foley.

Joseph Brennan Bakeries claims market leadership in the bread market in Ireland, among other plant bakers including Irish Pride and Pat the Baker.

The company had operating profits of over E5m, compared with E4.6m in 2003. However, a loan write-off of E24.7m put Brennan’s in the red.

The accounts, which were filed at the end of October, do not reveal further details of who received the loan. Turnover was E47.9m in 2004 compared with E44.7m in 2003.

The Brennan family, of which eight are company directors of Joseph Brennan Bakeries, also has links with Readibake, Johnston Mooney and O’Brien, Butterkrust, and Doyles Quality Products, with bakeries and premises in Finglas and elsewhere in Dublin and in Clonee in Meath.

In the recent past, Brennans has invested in its ‘Bundy’ (hamburger and hotdog bun) plant, doubling capacity, and in expansion and development at another plant. It lists O’Briens sandwich bars among its customers.

The company is synonymous with the character ‘Old Mr Brennan’, used in advertising, and the slogan ‘Today’s Bread Today’.

In the past, Brennans has been associated with Lyons Bread, Lyons Cakes and Mullally Bakery – companies which were dissolved in August 2003.