Business Irish

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Sales at Arnotts break €75m mark as Selfridges continues to invest

Emma Kavanagh from Drogheda who works in the women’s section in Arnotts. Photo: Frank McGrath
Emma Kavanagh from Drogheda who works in the women’s section in Arnotts. Photo: Frank McGrath
Samantha McCaughren

Samantha McCaughren

Sales at Arnotts increased by 5.3pc last year up to €75.3m following continued investment in the Dublin department store which is now owned by the Selfridges Group.

There are several new developments planned for the shop, including the arrival of exclusive perfume brand Jo Malone early next month, while a new lingerie department will open in spring of 2018.

Accounts, which will be filed shortly at the Companies Offices, show there was a gross profit of €40.1m, up 3.5pc.

During the year, Arnotts invested €2.5m in capital projects, an increase of over €1m on the previous year, which included the introduction of a range of new brands such as Mac and Charlotte Tilbury, store improvements and technology upgrades.

Operating profit was hit by this investment, which included the hiring of additional staff and other one-off expenditure, resulting in a loss of €523,000.

When interest and other income is included, Arnotts recorded a pre-tax profit of €204,000. Employee numbers grew by 39 to 526, across both retail sales and management and administration.

The company said the trading outlook for 2017 looked "very encouraging" and further significant growth is expected across the remainder of the year and into 2018.

Beauty, womenswear and accessories and homeware are all performing well. In August 2017, the Selfridges Group, which also owns the Brown Thomas group in Ireland, provided Arnotts with a €4m investment for digital and store investment.

US furniture and homeware retailer West Elm, a division of Williams-Sonoma, is opening in Arnotts in November - a first in Ireland.

"It has been another strong year of progress for Arnotts. In particular, we've made considerable advancements in our refurbishment and online programme," said managing director Donald McDonald.

"We continue to attract a growing number of new customers, which is making a significant contribution to our revenue."

Selfridges group managing director, Paul Kelly said: "It's been a great year for Arnotts, which is being mirrored in the very encouraging results. The performance continues the positive upward momentum across the business and reflects the ongoing investment across the store to enhance the shopping experience for customers."

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