Avoca targets three new openings in next two years

Avoca managing director Simon Pratt hopes to see a further two-to-three new store openings in the next 24 months.

The new stores could deliver an additional 300 jobs to Avoca, which currently employs 970 people across a network of shops, food markets and cafés in 12 locations across the country.

Mr Pratt revealed the plans for further expansion when commenting on new accounts for Avoca Handweavers Ltd, which show restructuring costs of €4m - ahead of its €65m sale to US company, Aramark - resulted in the business recording a €1.7m pre-tax loss in the 11 months to early January last year. The bulk of the restructuring costs were made up of additional pension contributions to directors, who last year shared total contributions of €3.5m. The accounts show the business increased its revenues by 3% to €60m. EBITDA grew by 3.7% to €4.4m. Mr Pratt said the business has continued to trade well and the new ownership has put it in a strong position to grow at home and abroad.

“We would like to see a limited number of new stores in Ireland. We are also minded to keep that growth sustainable and make sure each new store maintains the essence of the Avoca brand in terms of its look and feel and the new ideas it contains.The continuing involvement of members of the Pratt family and the complete Avoca senior management team will ensure the core values of the business are maintained through this growth,” he added.

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