Lifestyle axe jobs to get in profit

LIFESTYLE SPORTS cut more than 100 jobs last year as it reversed a €3.4 million loss into a profit.

According to accounts just filed at the Companies registration Office the company recorded a pre-tax profit of €1.34 million for the year to 4 October 2003. This wipes out the €3.4 million loss it made the previous year.

However, the accounts reveal that the company cut its workforce by 104 last year. The cuts came mainly from its sales and distribution staff. However, the job losses had little impact in reducing costs as the wages and salary bill was actually up from €12.1m to €12.2m. Lifestyle Sports employed 669 people at its year end.

Turnover across its 60 stores was up slightly at €99.6m from €97.2m the previous year.

The gain in turnover came from its stores in the Republic, which saw a €4.1m rise in sales to €84.7m, though turnover at its Northern Ireland outlets slipped from €16.6 million to €14.8m.

The accounts show that the largest shareholder in Lifestyle is the venture capital firm ACT, which backed the MBO. Chief executive Andrew Sharkey holds 18% of the shares with fellow director Anthony McEntee, Andrew Towell and John Mitchell owning 7.5% each.

The company’s directors were given a 27% pay rise to €598,446.

Lifestyle was part of the Quinnsworth supermarket group until 1997 when that company was acquired by Tesco. The management team then bought out company founded in 1979.

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