Xtra-vision's profits 'small' as consumers feel pinch
XTRA-vision chief executive and financier Peter O'Grady-Walshe believes the video rental and consumer electronics retail chain will post a "small" operating profit in the current financial year but warns that consumers have been "crushed" by the downturn. He declined to divulge revenue projections for 2010 or 2011.
Speaking yesterday, Mr O'Grady-Walshe said he and the investment partners who acquired the Xtra-vision business from US-based Blockbuster in August last year for €20m had secured an "extraordinary deal".
"We've never quite seen the like of it," he said. Xtra-vision operates 185 stores, 140 of them in the Republic of Ireland and 45 in Northern Ireland.
He was outlining plans for the launch of online offerings and said customers will soon be able to order products over the internet and collect them in-store. Xtra-vision is also poised to launch applications for smart devices such as iPhones.
Until a proper postcode system was introduced in the country, it would be impossible for the chain to offer a delivery service on a cost-effective basis. The Government has said that it intended to implement a postcode system by December 2011.
Mr O'Grady-Walshe said the group is poised to make its last repayment on the Bank of Scotland (Ireland) €7m loan to acquire the business last year.