big losses  | 

Revenues at Northern Ireland arm of Dunnes Stores fell by nearly £12m in 2020

Numbers employed by Dunnes Stores (Bangor) Ltd reduced by 63 from 1,097 to 1,034
Dunnes Stores

Dunnes Stores

Gordon Deegan

Pre-tax losses at the main Northern Ireland based arm of retail giant Dunnes Stores last year increased more than 12 fold to £8.1m (€9.64m).

That is according to new accounts for the Belfast registered Dunnes Stores (Bangor) Ltd after revenues decreased by 10.4pc or £11.85m from £113.6m to £101.75m in the year to the end of December 26th 2020.

The family owned Irish retailer in 2018 completed the shut down of all of its stores in England and Scotland but continues to operate in Northern Ireland where it has 15 stores.

According to the directors, the group’s and company’s balance sheets "are robust with strong cash flow and no external funding".

In a report accompanying the accounts, director of the Dunnes firm, Dr Anne Heffernan states “as a family company with generations of accumulated experience, we see things in the longer term and take our key business decisions accordingly”.

In a rare statement on the progress of the Dunnes business, Dr Heffernan states that “Dunnes Stores philosophy is summed up by ‘Better Value’. The board of directors believes that this philosophy underpins the success of the company in its first 75 years and it continues to guide us into the future”.

Numbers employed by Dunnes Stores (Bangor) Ltd reduced by 63 from 1,097 to 1,034 and staff costs reduced from £16.24m to £14.89m.

A factor in the sharp increase in pre-tax losses last year was a non-cash impairment of £2.3m and foreign exchange losses doubling to €2.8m.

The pre-tax loss also takes into account non-cash depreciation costs of £3m.

Last year, the Dunnes Stores Bangor firm recorded a post tax loss of £8.06 million after receiving a corporation tax credit of £65,000.

No dividend was paid out last year after a dividend of £120,000 was paid out in the prior year.

The most recent Kantar Worldpanel survey shows that Dunnes Stores has the largest share of the grocery market sector in Ireland at 22.8 per cent.

At the end of last year, the company’s accumulated profits stood at £37.2m while its cash funds increased from £24.75m to £26.45m.

The company’s cost of sales last year decreased from £84.7m to £80.3m with operating expenses decreasing from £28.6m to £24.8m.

Dunnes is one of the largest private employers in Ireland operating 116 stores here and the group had estimated revenues of €4bn in 2020 across the entire group, employing an estimated 14,800.

Prior to Christmas, Mandate trade union confirmed that staff at Dunnes were to receive a 10pc pay rise.

The first Dunnes Stores was opened by store founder, the late Ben Dunne on Cork’s Patrick Street in 1944.

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