Tuesday 20 February 2018

Louise Kennedy targets New York expansion

Sabina Higgins in an outfit by Louise Kennedy with Queen Elizabeth during the recent state visit to Britain
Sabina Higgins in an outfit by Louise Kennedy with Queen Elizabeth during the recent state visit to Britain
Louise Kennedy has been one of Ireland's most successful designers over the past three decades

Gordon Deegan

Designer Louise Kennedy has financial as well as fashion success sewn-up, with profits at her clothing firm more than doubling to €785,096 in 2012.

The Irish designer – whose customers include Kylie, Beyonce and Meryl Streep as well as First Lady Sabina Higgins – plans to open a New York store in 2015.

Ms Kennedy's Signum Ltd enjoyed stellar years in 2012 and 2013 and now she has her sights set on expansion into the US.

A Signum spokesman said yesterday that the US expansion "is a two-year plan which will culminate in the launch of a flagship store in New York. The company is actively seeking a strategic partner in this regard".

Ms Kennedy has been one of Ireland's most successful designers over the past three decades and accounts just filed show that accumulated profits at Signum Ltd increased by 150pc, or €471,980, from €313,116 to €785,096 in the 12 months to the end of December 2012. This followed accumulated profits increasing by 88pc, or €146,963, to €313,116 in 2011.

The accounts lodged with the Companies Office show that the firm's cash pile in 2012 increased from €540,882 to €679,270 with the firm's net assets totalling €785,731.

Last year, Ms Kennedy celebrated 30 years in business after establishing her eponymous label in 1983 and today operates flagship stores at Belgravia in London and Merrion Square in Dublin.

The Signum spokesman said yesterday that "the preliminary results for 2013 show continued growth in retail exports and profitability in line with expectations".

Ms Kennedy currently directly employs 50 people and on the 2012 performance, the spokesman said that 2012 "produced satisfactory results largely arising from faster recovery in the UK and export market".

He added: "The company was also able to maintain similar staff numbers when compared to the previous year and it is hoped that as the Irish market and export market continues to strengthen that additional staff will be hired."

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