Arcadia's Irish losses widen to €2.2m in 'difficult' market
Losses at the Irish arm of Philip Green's Arcadia fashion empire jumped to £1.7m (€2.2m) last year from £762,000 a year earlier, as it incurred an exceptional charge related to lease provisions, newly-filed accounts for the business show.
The company said it's aware that customers continue to face "testing times" because of economic conditions. Revenue at the unit, which operates chains under the Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Burton brands, fell to £17.6m (€22.3m) in the 12 months to the end of August last year, from £19.5m the year before.
"During the year, turnover declined 10pc as all brands found trading conditions in Ireland extremely difficult," said the directors of the Irish firm. "To counteract this decline in performance, the company sought to reduce costs wherever possible."
The accounts show that the company employed an average of 360 people at the end of last August, compared to 385 at the end of August 2014. Its staff costs fell to £4.6m from £5.4m.
"The current retail environment is very challenging as competitors seek to attract value-conscious customers using a variety of routes to market," the directors added.
The company said that it incurred a £726,000 exceptional charge related to the movement on a provision against the future leasing obligations of the company's loss-making stores.
In the year to the end of August 2015, the Arcadia group reported an operating profit of £251.6m (€319m). It also owns brands such as Topshop, Miss Selfridge, and Wallis. Its sales were flat at just over £2bn.
The group formed a 50-50 joint venture with pop singer Beyonce to produce a "global athletic streetwear brand" called Ivy Park. The range has just been launched. Mr Green and Beyonce have known each other for over 10 years since she sang at the Bar Mitzvah of the retail billionaire's son.