Debenhams cuts Irish loss

Pre-tax losses at the Irish arm of UK retailer Debenhams last year narrowed by 21% to €6.7m as revenues increased.

The company operates 11 department stores in the Republic.

It acquired the majority of the stores when it acquired Roche Stores in 2006.

It operates in Dublin and Cork, as well as in Limerick, Tralee and Waterford.

According to accounts just filed by Debenhams Retail (Ireland) Ltd, the firm recorded the reduced losses as revenues increased by 2% from €163.58m to €166.5m.

Numbers employed last year fell from 1,681 to 1,635.

Employee costs were reduced slightly from €33.76m to €33.72m.

The figures show in the year to end of August, that the firm’s pre-tax losses fell from €8.6m to €6.7m.

The directors, however, say the “external environment” for Debenhams Retail (Ireland) Ltd is expected to remain challenging in 2016.

Having paid a dividend of €54.8m in 2013, it did not pay out in 2014 or in 2015.

The firm’s spend on lease rentals last year increased marginally from €25.24m to €25.36m.

Its cost of sales totalled €162.32m and distribution costs of €4.9m and administrative expenses of €3.3m increased the firm’s losses.

The accounts show the firm had an operating loss of €4.1m in 2015, representing a 33% drop on the operating loss of over €6.18m.

Last year’s loss led to shareholders’ funds falling into a deficit of €5.73m.

“After reviewing current performance and detailed forecasts, taking into account available bank facilities and making further enquiries as considered appropriate, the directors are satisfied that the company has reasonable resources to enable it to continue for the foreseeable future,” says a note to the accounts.

The company’s tangible assets last year had a book value of €22.39m.

CSO figures published yesterday showed that some sectors of the retail trade continue to face some challenges.

The volume of retail sales fell 0.7% in December from the previous month, but climbed 6.3% from December 2014.


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