According to chief executive of Avoca, Simon Pratt, profits at the group in the year ending on January 31 next are projected to have increased by over 50% as revenues increased by 5% to over €60m.
Mr Pratt was commenting on new accounts just filed by Avoca Handweavers Ltd and subsidiaries which show that pre-tax profits reduced by 25% from €2m to €1.54m in the 12 months to the end of January 31 last.
The group sustained the drop in pre-tax profits in spite of revenues decreasing by 4% from €55.6m to €57.85m.
According to Mr Pratt, the drop in profit last year is attributable to investment costs of €1.5m.
Recently, it was confirmed that Mr Pratt’s sister, Amanda has left the business to pursue other interests.
However, the new accounts show that Ms Pratt retains her valuable 23.5% share in the family-run firm.
Commenting on her contribution to the business, Mr Pratt said: “Amanda led the design team in our wholesale business and created Avoca’s Anthology clothing range.
He added: “She will certainly be missed as she made a great contribution to the company and we wish her well but Avoca is a creative company at its core and we have a team of five other designers, and a separate team that handles the design of our retail, foodmarket and café business who have a wealth of talent and experience,” he said.
He said: “When we survey the Irish retail landscape I am grateful that we have remained both profitable and managed to grow both employee numbers and the business through the recession.”
Avoca employs 800 staff and Mr Pratt said: “We will open a new Avoca food market and café in Lucan on the site of The Foxhunter public house in May creating a minimum of 60 new jobs.”
At the end of January last, the group had shareholder funds totalling €26.74m made up of €18.87m in accumulated profits. Remuneration for the firm’s six directors, all members of the Pratt family, last year reduced from €1.4m to €1.15m.
The group’s bank loans last year reduced from €15.12m to €13.48m.