Newly filed accounts for Dunnes Stores (Bangor) Ltd, to Companies House in London, show a 2.5% decrease in revenues to £136.9m for the 12 months to the end of last January.
Revenues at the firm in 2012 had totalled £157m, but dipped to £140.52m in 2013.
The further decline came against the background of reports that Dunnes was planning a major UK expansion; eyeing the opening of up to 40 stores.
The Newry-registered firm’s revenues are generated in Britain and the North, with Dunnes operating 29 stores across those jurisdictions; broken down between 20 in the North and nine in England and Scotland.
The accounts offer the only insight into the finances of the family-owned business.
Dunnes Stores has unlimited status in Ireland and is not required to file annual accounts to the Companies Office in Dublin.
Numbers employed by the UK arm last year declined by 132 from 1,724 people to 1,592 and across the group, Dunnes employs around 15,000 people in Ireland and the UK.
Dunnes is one of the largest employers in Ireland, operating 116 stores here. Its fortunes in the Republic are on the rise with the latest industry figures showing that it increased its grocery sales by 4.7% in the last quarter, with market share rising to 23.3%.
The rise in sales marked the 11th successive period of growth for Dunnes’ grocery division.
The latest Dunnes Stores (Bangor) accounts show that the firm paid dividends of £764,000 last year to its Irish-based parent, Dunnes Stores (Henry Street). This followed a dividend payout of £476,000 in the prior year.
The firm last year paid corporation tax of £2.88m; compared to £3.62m in 2013. It showed a post-tax profit of £8.47m last year. Staff costs last year decreased marginally, from £17.58m to £17.42m.
The accounts for the UK firm show that its operating profits decreased by 21.5% from £13.8m to £10.52m. The firm’s cash during the year increased sharply from £104m to £175m, while its net assets last year stood at £323m.
The directors of the UK firm, Frank Dunne and Margaret Heffernan, are the driving forces behind Dunnes’ success. The first Dunnes Stores was opened by the group’s founder, the late Ben Dunne, on Cork’s St Patrick St in 1944.