Bargaintown lost €1.3m before Ikea arrival
HOMEGROWN furniture giant Bargaintown swung to a €1.3m loss before the worst of the recession hit and before Swedish behemoth Ikea opened its Dublin doors.
Accounts just filed with the Companies' Office show Bargaintown made the seven-figure loss in the 2008 calendar year, reversing a marginal profit of €86,000 earned in 2007.
Owned by brothers Alan and Norman Prendergast, Bargaintown has seven Dublin outlets and is one of the country's largest indigenous furniture sellers.
The newly-filed accounts show Bargaintown's 2008 earnings plunge came as the company grew its headcount from 114 to 128 and added 18pc to its payroll bill.
After taking the loss, Bargaintown was left with retained profits of just over €3m heading into 2009.
In notes to the accounts, the firm's directors say that "being cognisant of the very difficult economic environment" they are "satisfied" with the year's results.
Last year was billed as one of the most difficult ever for Ireland's furniture sellers as the dismal property market and weak consumer sentiment drove buyers out of the market, while Ikea came in to hoover up whatever demand remained.
In a previous interview with the Irish Independent, Alan Prendergast, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, said he "welcomed" the Swedish player and thought it would stimulate the market.
Bargaintown's filings also show the company granted a charge to AIB last July, offering five Islandbridge properties as security.