Thursday 22 August 2019

Hollister's Irish arm faces fifth straight fall in profit

Slowdown: Profits have fallen at the Irish arm of the Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister brands
Slowdown: Profits have fallen at the Irish arm of the Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister brands

Gordon Deegan

Profits and revenues at the Irish arm of major US clothing brands Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch dropped last year for the fifth year running.

New accounts show that pre-tax profits at A&F Hollister Ltd dropped by 15pc to €242,002 in the 12 months to the end of February 2 of this year.

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The drop in profits over the past five years has coincided with revenues decreasing during the same period. Last year, revenues dropped by 18pc, from €9.9m to €8.1m.

The revenues recorded by the business in the 12 months to the end of February 2 of this year represent just over 50pc of the €15.8m revenues enjoyed by the firm in fiscal 2013, as the group cashed in on the hype surrounding the opening of its College Green store in November 2012.

A frenzy greeted the opening of Ireland's first Hollister brand store at the Dundrum Town Centre in July 2011.

This was followed by similar scenes of long queues of teenagers at the opening of the first Abercrombie & Fitch store at Dublin's College Green on November 1, 2012.

Teenagers started queuing for the opening of the first Hollister store at 1.15am on July 15, 2011, while the first teenagers arrived at 6.30am for the November 2012 opening of the Abercrombie & Fitch store.

However, while remaining profitable, the business's revenues have declined consistently in recent years, as the excitement around the brand stores has faded.

Numbers employed by the firm last year declined by just one to 177, made up of 16 full-time staff members and 161 part-time workers.

Staff costs reduced from €1.59m to €1.4m. The profits last year take account of operating lease costs of €1.53m and non-cash depreciation costs of €850,678.

The firm's cost of sales last year reduced from €4.8m to €3.38m, while its administrative expenses reduced from €4.76m to €4.48m.

The firm recorded a post-tax profit of €192,308, after tax of €49,694 was taken into account.

Last year's profit resulted in the company's accumulated profits increasing from €1.609m to €1.8m. The firm's cash increased too, from €519,976 to €1.28m.

The global company's UK business revealed similar trends to the Irish business last year. Recently filed accounts by AFH Stores UK Ltd show that pre-tax profits reduced by 2.6pc, from £4.49m to £4.37m.

This followed revenues decreasing by 2.5pc, from £164m to £160.47m.

The business operates 34 stores in the UK.

Irish Independent

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