Debenhams blames early sales for €6.97m loss
THE Irish arm of UK retailer, Debenhams has blamed early sales promotions in the run-up to Christmas for a pre-tax loss of €6.97m last year.
Debenhams Retail (Ireland) Ltd slipped into a loss as revenues dipped marginally from €162.5m to €162.1m in the year to the end of August 31 last year (2013).
"The results for Debenhams Ireland reflect the difficult conditions in the Irish retail market during 2013, and in particular, the highly promotional market in the run-up to Christmas," a spokesman said.
"This diluted the success of our own planned promotions, which are a traditional strength for Debenhams," he said. Debenhams operates 11 department stores across Ireland – the majority of them bought from Roches Stores in 2006.
The latest pre-tax loss of €6.97m follows a pre-tax profit of €7.8m in 2012.
Last year, the firm's cost of sales increased from €147.87m to €163.27m.
The figures show that the firm last year paid a dividend of €54.8m to its parent.
The average number of staff employed by the firm last year increased marginally from 1,742 to 1,771. The figures show that employee costs increased from €34.79m to €35m.
According to the directors' report "the external commercial environment for Debenhams Retail (Ireland) Ltd is expected to remain challenging in 2014."
The filings show that the firm recorded a gross loss of €1.1m compared to a gross profit of €14.63m in 2012.
Distribution costs of €3.8m and administrative expenses of €2.1m increased the firm's losses to an operating loss of €7m compared to an operating profit of €9.2in 2012. The company's cash last year decreased from €2.4m to €1.4m.