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Company Snapshot: Dunnes Stores (Bangor) Ltd

Dunnes Stores (Bangor) consolidates the trading figures for all of the Dunnes Stores in Northern Ireland as well as a smaller number of outlets in England.

The Group describes its main business as the retailing of textiles, grocery and houseware goods. Annual turnover by this group of companies peaked in the year to January 2005 at £231m. Since then it has fallen gradually, excepting in 2009-10, by nearly 28% pa.

Operating profits also peaked at £39m in 2004-5 and in the last seven years have fallen by more than half.

However, the ratio of operating profits to turnover has been more stable, falling to just under 8% in the most recent year. Pre-tax profits have been consistently higher than operating profits because the group has had large credit balances on which annual interest earnings were increasing. This position ended in 2011-12 after the parent company transferred these balances out of this subsidiary.

The balance sheet records that credit balances, due elsewhere in the company structure, amounted to over £180m in January 2010. These were transferred in 2010-11. In a contrasting change, in January 2011, £154m was owing from within the Group and this balance remained until January 2012.

The balance sheet also shows a continuing practice of holding large cash balances at the bank, amounting to over £41m at the end of January 2012.

Internal business between Dunnes Stores (Bangor) and the parent company, Dunnes Stores (RoI), was reflected in a report that during the most recent year, purchases valued at £65m were made for resale by the parent company and charged to the Northern Ireland registered company at cost. Dunnes Stores also asked Dunnes Stores (Bangor) to pay a management charge of £3.0m to the parent company.

Employment in 2011-12 averaged 1,999 people. This was a fall of 15% on the previous year and much lower than the 3,555 people employed during 2004-5.

Post-tax profits in 2011-12 were £9.4m. Of this £4.1m was paid as a dividend to the parent company as shareholder, leaving £5.3m to be added to the balance sheet value of shareholders' funds.

The company operates a defined benefit pension scheme for some employees. At the end of the financial year, the pension scheme assets were worth nearly £10m and were carrying a net actuarial liability of just over £816,000.

Belfast Telegraph