Arnotts blames water charges for drop in consumer sentiment and outlook for next year
Management at Dublin department store Arnotts are worried about the impact of water charges on their business.
Newly filed accounts reveal that the store's bosses believe "water charges uncertainty has played its part in a recent drop in consumer sentiment."
"This will have an impact on future outlook in terms of spending habits," the directors' report says.
"Retail performance continues to be volatile and remains challenging as years of austerity measures have reduced the amount of discretionary income available for consumers."
But the accounts show Arnotts' performance has been improving. In 2014, losses shrunk from €10.1 to €4.2m. The company has lost tens of millions since the crash.
The future of the business is up in the air as Noel Smyth's Fitzwilliam Finance Partners and US private equity firm Apollo - each of which owns 50pc - battle for control.
On Wednesday Arnotts boss Ray Hernan told the Irish Independent that he wants the issue resolved as soon as possible, adding that he was not aware of the status of the negotiations. He said Arnotts' start-of-year sales figures have been the strongest in years in 2015.
Sunday Indo Business