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Company report: We take a look at Heatons (NI) Ltd


Heatons (NI) is a subsidiary of an Irish registered company of the same family name. In Northern Ireland the company has grown appreciably in the past decade and has 10 stores here. There are over 40 similar stores in the Republic of Ireland.

Turnover has increased year by year and in the year to April 2105 was over £49.6m, an increase of 4% compared to the previous year. In the annual report, the business review points to an improving competitive environment and also a broadening of the product range held by the stores.

Because of a large shareholding by a major shareholder, Heatons (NI) is a related company to Sports Direct International plc. In the most recent trading year, over £21.8m of goods sold by Heatons (NI) were purchased from Sports Direct.

In the last four years, operating profits have increased steadily from just less than £0.7m to April 2012 to nearly £4.5m in the year to April 2015. The business has relied on fairly modest borrowed funds, largely internal to the group, and as a result pre-tax profits have risen in similar steps.

Capital spending was lower last year but this was following on more substantial capital spending in the two previous years.

Employment in Northern Ireland has been increasing and most recently at an average of 498 people 9% higher than a year ago. The business has retained post-tax profits with no dividend payments. This has meant that the balance sheet value of shareholders' funds has increased sharply and at the end of April 2015, at £14.4m, was just more than double the value three years earlier.

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