Fifty shades of profit: Erotica proves good for WH Smith

Sales of publishing phenomenon, EL James Fifty Shades of Grey helped the Irish arm of retail giant, WH Smith record a profit here for the first time last year, when the company generated €541,658 in pre-tax profits.

New figures show that the UK-owned retailer recorded the pre-tax profit last year after recording a pre-tax loss of €165,472 in 2011 — a positive swing of €707,130.

This followed revenues increasing by 59% from €6.86m to €10.9m in the 12 months to the end of Aug 31, 2012.

The sales of EL James erotic romance and the second and third volumes, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed were bestsellers in the period under review recording book sales of €2.8m across Ireland in 2012

The figures for WH Smith Ireland Ltd show numbers employed by WH Smith increased from 37 to 52 and the increase in revenue is attributable to a full year’s trading for the firm’s four new units at Dublin airport.

The results also take account of the performance of the firm’s first high street shop in Ireland that was opened at Arnotts in Dublin in the year under review.

The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €297,599.

Staff costs increased by 31% from €874,301 to €1.15m.

The figures show that rent paid by the firm under operating leases increased from €1.7m to €2.9m last year.

The figures show that the company’s cost of sales increased from €3.47 to €5.5m resulting in the firm’s gross profit increasing from €3.39 to €5.31m.

The company’s distribution costs increased from €3.5m to €4.7m with administrative expenses decreasing from €41,541 to €35,532.

The company’s accumulated losses decreased from €548,825 to €42,728. The firm’s cash decreased from €2.69m to €819,233.

On the company’s going concern status, the accounts state that the company is in receipt of a letter of support from the ultimate parent company to provide financial support for a period of no less than 12 months.


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