Business Irish

Saturday 25 February 2017

Shaw group losses rise to €654,000

John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Operating losses at the Shaw & Sons department store group widened to €654,000 in the 12 months to the end of last January from just €7,500 a year earlier, as a tough retail environment pushed turnover at the business down 11pc to €23.6m.

The embattled Shaw's department store chain is also being strained by a family rift that erupted earlier this year.

Shaw & Sons controls seven outlets around the country, and is owned by three branches of the Shaw family.

Another family company, W&G Hadden, operates five outlets. It recorded a €429,000 operating profit in the 12 months to the end of last January, down 26pc, while turnover fell almost 14pc to €15.7m.

Following a disagreement a number of months ago, octogenarian Sheila Shaw effectively notified the board that she was preparing her stake in the business to be put up for sale.

Ms Shaw and her children control about 30pc of the business between them, a stake valued at close to €30m.

That stake could be sold to other members of the Shaw family involved in the business or it could conceivably be sold to an external buyer.

A solicitor for Ms Shaw was unavailable yesterday.

Auditors for Shaw & Sons also said that they were unable to form an opinion as to whether the financial statements for the business gave a true and fair view of the company's affairs.

The auditors note: "The evidence available to us was limited because of the absence of a professional valuation of the company's land and buildings having a carrying amount of €16.9m. Because of this, we have been unable to form a view on the financial statements."

Valuation

Shaw directors note that an interim professional property valuation was due to be carried out last January, but that due to the turmoil and inactivity in the property market they believed such a valuation would be unreliable.

The auditors added that they believed proper books of accounts had been kept by the Shaw company.

Accounts for Shaw & Sons show that the business racked up total recognised losses for the last financial year of €4.8m after it shouldered a €2.4m unrealised movement on revaluation of property, and a €1.3m actuarial loss in respect of its defined benefit pension scheme.

Despite the losses, directors' total remuneration for the year rose to €502,000 from €418,000.

Irish Independent

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