Hodges & Figgis leads Waterstones recovery
The man credited with saving Waterstones has said that the firm's Hodges & Figgis store in Dublin "is by some distance" the second best performing store in the entire group.
Waterstones' managing director, James Daunt, said yesterday that only the firm's flagship store in London's Piccadilly sells more books than Hodges & Figgis.
Mr Daunt said that Waterstones' business in Ireland has rebounded in the current year. "I am more than happy with how the business is doing in Ireland. It is a very welcome turnaround," he said.
"Over the past year, we have seen a resurgent Hodges & Figgis and the Cork branch is performing very well too."
Mr Daunt said that the 2014 rebound for Waterstones followed "an extended period of significant decline".
He added: "We do make money in Ireland and the business as a whole will break even this year."
He said that Hodges & Figgis "is a hugely important shop for us and I think it has benefited from my decision to give more say back to the booksellers. The shop has real personality and they are extremely well led by Gina O'Donnell and the staff there are fantastic, committed and energetic."
Mr Daunt was commenting on figures showing that despite a year of major titles, including a second autobiography by Alex Ferguson, Waterstones Ireland saw a 17pc drop in pre-tax profits to €809,000 last year as revenues fell from €13.9m to €12.84m.
Mr Daunt said that Waterstones in Ireland has enjoyed a small increase in revenues in the current year.