Boots records €20m profit here despite 'a fragile economy'
THE expanding Irish arm of UK retail giant Boots increased its pre-tax profits by 14pc last year.
Boots Retail (Ireland) Ltd also saw revenues jump 3.4pc to €285m in the 12 months to the end of March last year.
The figures show that the business increased its operating profit by 15pc during the year to €20.5m with net interest charges of €143,000 reducing profits.
Tax of €3.4m was paid on its profits, bringing post-tax profits to €16.98m, according to accounts filed with the Companies Office.
The directors' report stated that revenue increased despite difficult trading conditions.
Five new stores were added during the year and two closed "reflecting our strategy to expand our presence." By the end of the year there were 74 stores.
A spokeswoman for Boots Ireland said yesterday that two new stores at Bandon and Donaghmede in Dublin have opened since the end of March bringing the total number to 76.
The first Boots store opened in Ireland in 1996.
The spokeswoman said that turnover last year increased "due to new store openings in both the current and prior years"
"Like-for-like dispensing item volume growth was strong, the resulting turnover growth being partially offset by lower reimbursement rates, but overall like-for-like turnover was down 4.4pc, the fragile state of the Irish economy continuing to impact retail sales," she said.
"Trading profit was adversely impacted by higher input prices resulting from the weaker euro. In June 2013, we launched a new dedicated Irish website, boots.ie, selling over 26,000 products including many not available in our smaller Irish stores, with full Boots Advantage Card functionality."
The accounts disclose that the firm last year paid a dividend of €12.9m and this followed a dividend payout of €14.6m in fiscal 2012.
The firm's shareholder funds at the end of March last stood at €118.4m that included accumulated profits of €15.4m. The firm's cash last year increased from €2.79m to €8.35m.
The profit last year takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €5.6m and amortisation costs of €4.1m.
The firm's spend on operating leases for land and buildings last year increased to €21.5m.