Waterstones Ireland profits increase 36% to €3.4m

Waterstones Ireland profits increase 36% to €3.4m

The Hodges Figgis book store in Dublin is the second best performing across the 183 outlets owned by Waterstones, its managing director James Daunt has said.

Mr Daunt was commenting on new accounts that showed that the Irish arm of the bookseller posted a 36% increase in pre-tax profits to almost €3.4m in the 12 months to the end of April.

However, revenues in the Republic, where the bookseller also operates in Cork, fell 3% to €13.1m, from €13.4m.

The firm cut costs by 11% to almost €9.8m in the year.

The directors’ report in the accounts said that revenues fell “in a year absent of significant titles”. However, Mr Daunt said that current-year sales of its top titles “have come roaring back”.

He said the business had tapped “fantastic” sales from a number of titles, including from two Irish authors, Sally Rooney from Co Mayo, and Booker Prize winner, Belfast’s Anna Burns.

Waterstones made Sally Rooney’s Normal People its 2018 Book of the Year and Mr Daunt said that the title had broken records, with sales of 30,000 copies across the chain in December.

“The sales of Sally Rooney’s Normal People have been sensational,” he said.

“They have exceeded all our expectations, and Anna Burns’ Milkman has also sold really well.

Mr Daunt said that sales in the current year have also been boosted by Michelle Obama’s memoir, Becoming.

The Irish Waterstones business was “doing wonderfully”, he said.

Mr Daunt said that the business will “hopefully” expand, before cautioning that Ireland was “pretty well book-shopped”, and so there were fewer opportunities for expansion.

Staff numbers at Waterstones Ireland fell to 72 from 77, which saw staff costs decline to €2.17m from €2.2m, the report stated.

Shareholder funds at the company totalled €11m that included cash of €5.79m.

More on this topic

Airbus seeks 737 Max chanceAirbus seeks 737 Max chance

Sterling drops as Bank of England cuts UK growth tip to zeroSterling drops as Bank of England cuts UK growth tip to zero

Pret a Manger buys rival Eat to expand vegetarian brandPret a Manger buys rival Eat to expand vegetarian brand

B&Q owner Kingfisher misses targets for sales growthB&Q owner Kingfisher misses targets for sales growth

More in this Section

China welcomes preliminary deal in trade war it blames on USChina welcomes preliminary deal in trade war it blames on US

Irish shares climb as election drives sterlingIrish shares climb as election drives sterling

Profits fall at hotel groupProfits fall at hotel group

Profits rise 35% as gym group Flyefit expandsProfits rise 35% as gym group Flyefit expands


Lifestyle

Want to be cultured this Christmas? From TV to podcasts to books, Ed Power has the definite list of everything you missed this year - so you can curl up on the couch and catch upThe definite list of everything you missed this year

Artist Ciara Rodgers teaches older people how to rediscover their creativity and regain confidence, says Rowena WalshBrush with art: Discovering your creative side in later life

Furniture, paintings, jewellery and silver are on offer at James Adam in Dublin, writes Des O’SullivanAll set for home run: See what's on offer at the James Adam sale in Dublin

It’s not too late to hunt out a unique gift. Des O’Sullivan previews sales in the lead-up to the festive seasonA flurry of auctions in Munster sets the scene for Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner