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Page turner: Dubray's €1.1m dividend to family firm before Eason sale

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New chapter: Gemma Barry and Liam Hanly, CEO of Eason, at the announcement of Dubray’s sale to Eason in February

New chapter: Gemma Barry and Liam Hanly, CEO of Eason, at the announcement of Dubray’s sale to Eason in February

New chapter: Gemma Barry and Liam Hanly, CEO of Eason, at the announcement of Dubray’s sale to Eason in February

Bookseller Dubray Books paid out a dividend of €1.1m before the Barry family sold the business to Eason for an undisclosed sum.

New accounts for Dubray Books Ltd show that the business recorded post-tax profits of €581,946 in the 12 months to the end of August last. Profits were marginally down on the €587,598 made in the prior year. 

Dubray - which records annual sales of over €9m - comprises of eight bookstores across the Greater Dublin Area and Galway and continues to operate under the Dubray brand as a stand-alone division within Eason following the February deal.

Subsequent to the end of last August, Dubray Books Ltd paid a €1.1m dividend to parent firm Finbar Investments, which is owned by the Barry family.

The shareholders of the company were Barry family members, Gemma Barry, Cormac Barry and Eoghan Barry.

On February 24th, Finbar Investments Ltd sold its shares to Eason Operations Ltd to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Eason company. A liquidator was appointed to Finbar Investments Ltd the same day, as part of a voluntary winding up of the company.

Accumulated profits at Dubray Books at the end of last August totalled €2.035m. The company's cash funds increased to €929,667 from €881,283 during the year while Dubray's workforce decreased to 85 from 92.

 The profit last year took account of non-cash depreciation costs of €118,809. Pay to directors increased to €278,030 from €245,985 - made up of emoluments of €238,630, pension contributions of €15,160 and directors' national insurance of €24,240.

Commenting on the deal in February, Gemma Barry, said: "After nearly 50 years in business, the transition in ownership to Eason is a logical step for Dubray and it will secure the future of the Dubray brand as a specialist book retailer."

MD of Dubray, Maria Dickenson commented at the time: "This acquisition will be positive for the Irish book trade, ensuring that Irish publishing can continue to flourish with the support of local Irish-owned booksellers with wide customer appeal like Eason and the specialist credentials of Dubray."

Dubray's bricks and mortar stores are currently shut due to the Covid-19 pandemic but the firm continues to sell books online.

The business was boosted last year by the paperback release of Sally Rooney's publishing phenomenon 'Normal People', which was one of the best sellers here last year and has, according to Nielsen BookScan sold 46,861 paperback copies here clocking up a sales total of €450,118.

Irish Independent