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Ryanair's luggage allowance 'hits sales of books'

THE director of an independent Irish-owned book chain claimed yesterday that Ryanair's baggage allowance is having more of a negative impact on traditional book sales that e-books.

Frank O'Mahony, of O'Mahony's Booksellers, said book sales of holiday reads in the summer have dipped.

Mr O'Mahony believes the drop is down to Ryanair's restrictive baggage allowance.

He said: "Traditionally, during the summer time, you would have people buying three or four or five books at a time for holiday reads. We have found that this has dipped dramatically and I believe the Ryanair baggage allowance is the reason for this."

Ryanair currently allows one item of cabin baggage per person, weighing up to 10kg.

The weight of an average hardback book is around 1.3kg with paperbacks, weighing 300 grams.

Yesterday, Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara said Mr O'Mahony's claim was "complete rubbish".

"Passengers are packing what they always packed," he said.

"There is no basis for what he is saying at all. It is absolutely ridiculous."

O'Mahony's has four stores in Limerick, Co Kerry and Co Clare, employing 76.

Pressure

Mr O'Mahony said that he was "happy as you can be in the current climate" with the company recording a pre-tax profit of €85,965.

But he declined to provide revenue figures, stating "turnover has held up in the current year and we are expecting to make a profit".

Mr O'Mahony said that the book business "is under a lot of pressure but I don't see the sales of traditional book selling disappearing at all".

He said: "I am not concerned about the long-term viability of the business."

Mr O'Mahony said that the sale of e-books will take away some market share, but stated that claims for the sales of e-books have been overhyped.

Mr O'Mahony said that online sales of books at his firm top 'seven figures' on an annual basis. He said: "During the quiet period, online sales are doubling month on month, while during the busy period, there would be a 25pc increase month on month in online sales."

The firm's shareholder funds stood at €464,403 at the end of February last that included cash of €606,340. The company's staff costs last year reduced from €2.2m to €2.1m.

Irish Independent