Independent booksellers see operating profits fall 32%

OPERATING profits at independent bookselling chain O’Mahony’s fell last year by 32% to €189,795.

The chain operates four stores in Limerick, Tralee and Co Clare and the figures show that the company’s gross profit declined by 6% from €3.78 million to €3.56m to the end of February last.

The figures show that O’Mahony’s Booksellers recorded a pre-tax loss of €93,425 after an exceptional cost of €269,212, made up of €249,212 in an amount written off in an investment, and €20,000 owed by a group company written down, were taken into account.

This follows a write-down of €226,506 relating to an amount owed by a group company in 2009 that contributed to a pre-tax loss of €18,456 that year.

Company director, Frank O’Mahony, said yesterday that the chain “is outperforming the retail sector in the past few years and we are pleased with our performance taking into account the difficult economic climate”.

The abridged accounts show the company had accumulated profits of €272,484 that contributed to total shareholder funds of €390,988.

The company’s cash during the year increased from €305,793 to €718,746.

Mr O’Mahony’s grandfather, JP O’Mahony, established the company’s first store in 1902 on Limerick’s O’Connell Street and the business operates its flagship store from the same location today.

Mr O’Mahony said revenues for the current year are down on last year, but figures for the busy period of November and December last were on a par with the same period in 2009.

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