Barry Group’s €2.57m profit

CASH and carry wholesaler James A Barry & Co Ltd has posted after-tax profits of around €2.57 million for the year to the end of January, 2010, according to accounts filed with the Companies’ Registration Office.

A solid performance in a tough trading environment, up 12% on 2008, Barry&’s turnover stood at a little over €207m, down from €212.4m in the previous 12-month period.

Its domestic sales have remained fairly stable year-on-year at around €200m. Sales in Britain fell from €9.9m to around €5.2m, while sales elsewhere in the world grew from €1.46m to €2.76m.

Next year’s books are likely to show far greater changes. Last August, the group took over 50 Carry Out outlets, which it plans to double by 2012.

The company predicts this acquisition will add €42m to next year’s annualised turnover.

In the annual accounts, the company’s directors stated: “James A Barry & Co Ltd reported an increase in both gross and net profit during the year. The directors anticipate that market share and profitability can be maintained in the coming year.”

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The Barry group is also seeking eight new sites nationwide for its new Buy Lo discount stores, to add to the two existing outlets in Ashbourne, Co Meath, and in Tralee, Co Kerry.

Barry & Co has invested €1.5m in extending its central distribution centre in Mallow, Co Cork. None of the costs of this project were incurred in the accounting year to January 31, 2010.

The group has been trading for more than 50 years, supplying more than 700 stores nationwide, including its own 237 affiliated stores under the Costcutter, Carry Out, Buy Lo and Quik Pick brands.

The group also provides central billing to its affiliate stores. Barry Group is also part of the Stonehouse Group, a buying alliance of independent wholesalers.

Barry Group is controlled by managing director, Jim Barry, who owns 100% of the group’s 4,622 ordinary shares.

The other directors include Denis Paul Kennedy, Ray O’Driscoll, John McAllen, Niall Hartnett and Edwina Lucey.

Perhaps a precaution against the credit tightening among Ireland’s banks, Barry & Co has kept significantly more cash within arm’s reach this past year. Cash at bank and in hand jumped from around €3m to €7m year on year.

Yesterday, managing director, Jim Barry, in an email, stated: “We’ve managed to increase our net profit on a reduced turnover through aggressively managing our cost base and prudent management of credit risk. The Irish retail environment continues to be extremely competitive and operating margins continue to be squeezed. Our profits in 2009 were driven primarily through reducing our cost base, out-performing the market and re-inventing our retailer offering.”

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