Monsoon profits take dive to €1.7m
Monsoon Accessorize, the UK-based high-street clothing retailer that operates 20 stores here, posted a 72pc slump in operating profits to €1.7m in Ireland in the 12 months to the end of last August as turnover fell 35pc to €36.1m.
The previous accounting period stretched over 66 weeks. In accounts just filed for the Irish arm of the business, Monsoon notes that trading conditions here have been "tough" and that sterling weakness against the euro and dollar has impacted its margins.
The group employed nearly 200 people in Ireland at the end of last August.
The chain, which operates hundreds of stores around Europe, Asia and the Middle East, is controlled by its founder Peter Simon.
The accounts for the Irish division noted that it paid €6.6m in the last financial year for leases, while it made a €2.3m currency exchange loss.
The Irish fashion trade has been hit hard in general over the past two years as consumer spending dropped and retailers continued to fork out high rents.
Retailers such as Sasha have gone out of business, while Bestseller Retail, which operates outlets such as Vero Moda and Jack & Jones, closed a number of stores in Ireland.
Mr Simon took Monsoon private in 2007 in a deal that valued the group at £755m (€1.1bn at the time). It had been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1998.
A previous attempt to take the business private had been blocked by an activist hedge fund.