Monday 21 January 2019

Grey fails to put Ann Summers in the black

Ann Summers has boosted sales by opening a fifth store
Ann Summers has boosted sales by opening a fifth store

Gordon Deegan

Bumper sales of pink-fur play handcuffs and satin-and-lace blindfolds sent revenues at the Ann Summers retail chain here soaring to €3.188m last year.

Boosted by the cinema release last year of the latest instalment of the 'Fifty Shades' franchise, revenues at Ann Summers Ireland (Retail) Ltd increased by 32pc - going from €2.4m to €3.18m in the 12 months to June 24 last.

The company's business was also boosted by the opening of a fifth store here last year at Blanchardstown. This  followed a new store opening on Dublin's Henry Street in 2016.

Costs associated with the new store opening contributed to pre-tax losses at Ann Summers increasing marginally, from €1.01m to €1.07m.

However, the new accounts - signed off by Jacqueline Gold and Vanessa Gold - show that opening of the new store contributed to lease costs last year increasing from €985,000 to €1.296m. The business shut down its flagship store on O'Connell Street in Dublin in December. In the run-up to its opening 17 years ago Jacqueline Gold received a bullet in the post as part of the opposition to the plan.

The principle activity of the company is the retail of lingerie, apparel, adult toys and related accessories. The directors state that they will continue with its plans to profitably grow the business through a customer focus "in everything we do; our store refit programme; product innovation; systems transformation and developing and retaining our brand".

The expansion of the business last year resulted in numbers employed increasing from 33 to 44 with staff costs going up from €544,354 to €760,232.

The company incurred a foreign exchange loss of €153,759 and this followed a foreign exchange loss of €473,855 in 2016.

The costs associated with the new store opening resulted in administrative costs increasing from €2.33m to €3.2m last year.

Prior to the Blanchardstown opening, Ann Summers operated four shops here - on Dublin's O'Connell Street and Henry Street along with outlets at Cork and Limerick.

Accounts for a separate Irish Ann Summers firm show that it more than halved its losses to €228,600 last year.

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