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THE Irish arm of catalogue retailer Argos saw pre-tax profits plummet by 11pc to €20.4m. But sales at the group jumped by 4pc on the previous year and revenues climbed up from €205.2m to €213.8m.

"The increase in sales, however, has been to the detriment of gross profit, which has fallen to €74.1m during the year," the directors' report said.

"Operating costs have reduced marginally as a result of the ongoing cost initiatives throughout the year."

The directors said the company made operational improvements by increasing the product range available at each individual store and "improving the systems, processes and layouts to enhance customer choice, service and convenience".







Declining

The British-owned company operates 39 stores across Ireland. The figures show that the average number employed by the company last year grew by 69, from 1,274 to 1,343, with staff costs declining from €22.1m to €21.4m.

The accounts show that the company's cost of sales increased by €21.3m from €118m to €139.8m, while its net operating expenses fell marginally from €60.7m to €60.5m.

The directors did not recommend the payment of a dividend last year.

Part of Home Retail plc, Argos has 700 stores across the Britain and Ireland, employing 33,000 people.


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