Belfast Telegraph

Company Snapshot: Dunnes operating profits continue to slide

By John Simpson

Dunnes Stores (Bangor) is understood to include the consolidated trading figures for all of the Dunnes Stores in Northern Ireland.

The year to January 31 2009 was a 53-week period so that the turnover change, adjusted for the longer period, would show a reduction of 13% on a comparable basis. Similar adjustments might be made to the recorded profit figures.

Operating profits in 2004-5 peaked at £39m and in the last four years have more than halved. Pre-tax profits have been consistently higher than operating profits because the group has large credit balances on which annual interest earnings have been increasing. The balance sheet also shows a continuing practice of holding large cash balances at the bank. The cash balances held at the year end were £276m.

In 2003-4 the Northern Ireland company engaged in a capital spending programme of over £40m. Since then spending on capital projects has averaged between £3m and £9m each year.

Employment in 2008-9 averaged 2,706 people. This was a fall of 13% on the previous year. Post-tax profits in 2008-9 were £19.1m.

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