Profits at the Dublin outlet of Swedish furniture giant Ikea have slumped even though shoppers are still forking out nearly €2m a week on everything from wardrobes to fish and chips.
New accounts just filed for the retailer's outlet in the capital reveal that although sales remained virtually unchanged at €102.7m in the year to the end of last August, its pre-tax profit tumbled 56pc to just under €3m.
The outlet has had to work hard during the economic slump to ensure hard-pressed shoppers are still lured to the massive premises near the capital's airport. It employs more than 400 people.
The accounts for Ikea Ireland show that the cost of sales at the Dublin operation soared 21pc to €71.7m last year, knocking €3m from its gross profit. Administrative expenses climbed by almost €1m to just under €26m, while its interest charges barely rose, coming in at €2m for the year.
After paying €540,000 in tax, the Dublin store was left with a profit of €2.4m, down 55pc on the €5.4m it made in the previous financial year.
The store's manager, Paul Reid, had told the Irish Independent in January that the Ikea store in Dublin had delivered a "stable like-for-like result" in the 2012 financial year. That was evidently solely on a revenue basis.
The directors of Ikea Ireland note that they're satisfied with the result for the year and expect the level of activity and profitability in future years to be in line with expectations.
"The downturn in the economy has adversely affected the Irish retail environment and trading of the group," they add. "However, these threats are not considered to be significant and it is the opinion of the directors that Ikea will continue to gain market share during this slowdown."
Ikea opened its Dublin outlet in 2009 and made an €11.4m profit in its first year. At one stage it had been among the most profitable Ikea outlets in Europe. The Ikea group generated net profits of €3.2bn in its last fiscal year, 8pc higher than in 2011.
The Irish accounts also show that one of Ikea Ireland's directors is Owen O'Connell, a partner at high-end law firm William Fry. The solicitor firm was paid €33,000 by Ikea Ireland for its services last year.