Shaws chain makes €7.5m profit as sales soar

Department store chain Shaws staged a strong rebound in its most recent fiscal year, returning to profitability on rising revenue.

The Shaw & Sons chain paid an interim dividend of 225,000 euros to shareholders despite receiving 7 million euros in government grants related to Covid in the 12 months to the end of January this year. The year before she received almost 1.7 million euros.

Newly filed accounts for the family business, of which Primark supremo Breege O’Donoghue is also a non-executive director, show that sales in the 12 months to the end of January this year rose 28 percent to 52.8 million euros, while a €7.5 million profit after tax compared to a loss of almost €5 million in the previous financial year.

The chain, of which Conrad Digan is CEO, operates 16 stores across the country. An average of 518 people were employed at the end of January, compared to 454 in the previous year.

She paid 11.8 million euros in salaries and wages last year. Its directors received a total of more than EUR 1.5 million in the past financial year, compared to just under EUR 1.2 million in the previous year.

The accounts indicate that stores were closed for 15 weeks in the last period, compared to 23 weeks in the previous fiscal year.

Directors note in the financial statements signed in September that the pandemic has had a “significant impact” on the company’s results, its employees, customers and supply chain.

The chain temporarily gave notice during the crisis and agreed rent reductions with its landlords. The Portlaoise head office is owned by a number of company directors, their spouses and other associated individuals.

A number of companies that have received government wages and other supports as a result of the pandemic have paid dividends to their shareholders.

Last year, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told the Dáil that companies that could pay dividends should pay back subsidies.

“I think, particularly when it comes to the wage subsidy system where companies are making significant profits or are able to pay dividends, that it is appropriate that they return that money to the taxpayer,” said Mr Varadkar.

“I know some companies have done that. Others don’t have it and I think they should.”

Of the revenues last year, €51.5 million was generated from the sale of goods, €1 million from concessions and €294,000 from other activities.

The Shaws store was at the center of a family dispute a few years ago that threatened to split the retailer. However, two sides of the family eventually settle their differences. Shaws chain makes €7.5m profit as sales soar

Fry Electronics Team

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