Profits at Boots Ireland up 44%

THE expanding Irish arm of British pharmaceutical retail giant Boots last year increased its pre-tax profits by 44% to €15.9 million.

Returns made to the Companies Registration Office show that Boots Retail (Ireland) Ltd increased the size of its business by 0.6% to €267.2m from €265.6m in the 12 months to the end of March 31 last year.

At year’s end, Boots Ireland operated 58 shops and, according to the directors’ report attached to the accounts, “dispensing revenue increased ahead of the market and retail revenue growth was depressed as difficult trading conditions continue to impact consumer spending”.

The directors state that three shops were added during the year.

The first Boots outlet in Ireland opened in 1996and since year end it has expanded further, opening its 70th shop in the Republic in Bray, Co Wicklow last November.

The filings show that the company’s operating profit increased by 42% from €11.2m to €16m during the year.

The figures show that the company paid a dividend of €11m last year and this followed a dividend payout of €85m in the fiscal year 2010.

The company — whose parent is Alliance Boots — increased the numbers it employed last year from 1,332 to 1,371 with staff costs decreasing from €51.3m to €49m.

At the end of last year the company had accumulated profits totalling €14.6m that contributed to shareholder funds totalling €117.8m.

The company’s cash at the end of January last year totalled €3.9m.

The figures show that the company recorded the pre-tax profit after taking accounting of combined non-cash depreciation and amortisation costs totalling €8m.

The company’s tax bill last year totalled €3m.

Last year the company’s cost of sales declined marginally from €133.8m to €133m with the company’s gross profit increasing from €131.7m to €134.1m.

The figures show that the company’s operating costs declined from €120.5m to €118.1m.

The figures also show that the company made an actuarial gain of €1.5m on its pension scheme compared an actuarial loss of €1.2m in 2010.

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