COMBINED profits of department stores Brown Thomas and Arnotts rose to €9 million before they were sold this year by Canada’s Weston family to a joint venture between Thailand’s Central Group and Austrian real estate firm Signa Group.
The profit made by the operations of Brown Thomas and Arnotts in the 12 months to the end of January this year compared to a loss of 1.7 million euros they posted in the previous period.
The sharp turnaround came amid the easing of Covid restrictions, with sales up nearly 61 percent to €253.6 million over the period, new accounts show.
Brown Thomas and Arnotts are part of the Selfridges Group, which was owned by the billionaire Weston family. They agreed to sell the business, including Irish retailers, to Central Group and Signa for an estimated £4bn (€4.6bn).
The new accounts for Brown Thomas Arnotts Ltd show that the combined Irish companies generated 219.7 million euros of their retail sales revenue in the last financial year, with concession revenue amounting to 34 million euros.
With its flagship department store on Dublin’s Grafton Street, Brown Thomas also operates department stores in Dundrum, Cork, Limerick and Galway. It also has a BT2 store in Blanchardstown.
As well as its signature shop on Dublin’s Henry Street, Arnotts also has an online offering.
“Last year stores were closed for 40 percent of the year with digital commerce being the only revenue generator at that point,” note the accounts signed this summer.
“Covid-19 restrictions have been less stringent year-to-date as retail stores were closed for the first 14 weeks of this fiscal year, again with digital being the only revenue generator during that period,” the directors add.
The accounts also show that the company claimed €8.3 million in Covid wage subsidies in its most recent financial year.
“Future growth is planned through continued investment in the stores and increased investment in digital technology, including expansion into a larger store in Dundrum,” the directors underline in the accounts.
The Dundrum store opened in February this year. It occupies two floors previously occupied by the House of Fraser and required a £12 million conversion by Brown Thomas.
Brown Thomas Arnott’s accounts record the company’s then forthcoming sale to the Thai-Austrian company.
It also said that despite the challenges it has faced, the company is “positioned for a long, profitable and sustainable future.”
“The digital business continued to grow and continued to grow in the past financial year,” says the balance sheet.
Dividends of €300,000 were paid by the company in July last year, with a further €800,000 paid in May this year.
At the end of January, the Irish company employed an average of 701 full-time and 591 part-time staff. Of these, 641 worked in sales and 651 in management and administration. They were paid wages and salaries totaling 42 million euros in the financial year, with the Covid wage subsidy deducted from wage costs.
In the past fiscal year, members of the Management Board were paid a total of €2.7 million.
https://www.independent.ie/business/profits-soar-to-9m-at-brown-thomas-and-arnotts-42099503.html Brown Thomas and Arnotts profits rise to 9 million euros