Pre-tax profits at the UK arm of Irish-owned retail giant Dunnes Stores last year increased by 29% to £15.9m (€18.5m).
According to returns just lodged by Dunnes Stores (Bangor) Ltd to Companies House in the UK, the firm enjoyed the profit upswing in spite of revenues decreasing by 5% from £166.3m to £157.5m in the 12 months to the end of Feb 2, 2013.
The main factor behind the increase in pre-tax profits from £12.37m to £15.94m was the firm’s cost of sales decreasing by 9.5% from £107.5m to £97.25m. The firm’s operating expenses declined from £47.37m to £45.6m.
The firm paid dividends of £3.53m last year to Irish-based parent, Dunnes Stores (Henry Street) and this followed a dividend payout of £4.14m in 2011.
The Newry-registered firm’s revenues are generated in the UK and Northern Ireland, with Dunnes Stores operating 34 stores in the UK and Northern Ireland, broken down between 23 in Northern Ireland, six in England and five in Scotland.
The accounts offer the only insight into the finances of the family-owned business as Dunnes Stores has unlimited status in Ireland and is not required to file annual accounts to the Companies Office.
The UK arm employs 1,944 people, and across the group Dunnes Stores employs 15,000 people in total in Ireland and the UK.
The firm operates 116 stores in the Republic and the latest report from Kantar Worldpanel shows that Dunnes Stores in the 12 weeks to the end of Oct 13 last drove its sales growth by 5%, increasing its market share by one percentage point to 23%.
Dunnes Stores is the second largest player in the Irish grocery market lying over three percentage points behind Tesco at 26.6%.
The directors of the UK firm are the driving forces behind the Dunnes Stores success story of the modern era, Frank Dunne and Margaret Heffernan.
The accounts for the UK firm show that its operating profits increased by 27.5% from £11.94m to £15.22m.
Accumulated profits last year increased from £297.75m to £306.98m. The firm’s cash during the year declined from £42m to £28.98m.
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