Business Irish

Friday 20 April 2018

Waterstones continues to turn a page as profits surge by 31pc

Best-sellers by TV star Graham Norton (pictured) and rugby legend Paul O’Connell helped drive profits at Waterstones. Photo: Andres Poveda Photography Ltd
Best-sellers by TV star Graham Norton (pictured) and rugby legend Paul O’Connell helped drive profits at Waterstones. Photo: Andres Poveda Photography Ltd

Gordon Deegan

Sales of best-sellers by Graham Norton, Paul O'Connell and Ross O'Carroll Kelly helped the Irish arm of Waterstones to last year increase its pre-tax profits by 31.5oc to €2.48m.

The increase in profits at Waterstones Booksellers Ireland Ltd came in spite of revenues dipping at the company by 5pc, from €14.15m to €13.47m in the 12 months to the end of April 29 last.

The prior period was for 53 weeks and the dip in revenues at the firm coincided with the Luas works that continued outside the front door of the company's flagship Hodges Figgis store during the period under review.

The CEO of Waterstones, James Daunt, previously said that disruption works caused by the Luas works on Dawson Street "have been a nightmare" for the firm's main store here. The bookseller - which also operates a store in Cork - enjoyed the sharp jump in profits after cutting back on costs, with cost of sales reducing from €12.2m to €10.98m.

According to the directors' report, the sales recorded during the year combined with continued improvement in operational efficiencies and margin improvements resulted in an operating profit of €2.2m.

Numbers employed by the business last year remained static at 77, with staff costs declining marginally to €2.27m. The company's shareholder funds at the end of April totalled €7.5m. The company's cash pile during the year increased from €2.5m to €4m.

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