Belfast Telegraph

Argento 11% turnover fall due to difficult conditions

By Margaret Canning

Northern Ireland jeweller Argento has announced an 11% fall in turnover to £21.6m for the year to the end of June 2015.

Argento Contemporary Jewellery, which has 50 stores in the UK and Ireland, said the year had been "profitable... despite difficult ongoing market conditions".

The firm, which was founded by Strabane man Pete Boyle, stocks designer names including Thomas Sabo, Pandora and Daisy, along with its own ranges.

Despite the 11% fall in turnover, pre-tax profits were down only 2.4% to £1.68m.

In a strategic report filed with its results at Companies House, the firm's directors, Mr Boyle and his wife Ciara Denvir, said it was "well-established in the retail jewellery industry throughout the UK and Northern Ireland".

And it said the industry was performing well "and appears strong despite the challenging economic environment".

But it warned that "the risks to UK economic growth remain significant".

The directors paid a dividend of £4m - though their remuneration was only £73,540.

Its 320 employees were paid just under £4m in total.

And the report also notes that three stores - one in Derby and two in Nottingham - are traded as franchises. The company opened six new stores to its estate this year. That includes two new Argento stores in Holywood and Strabane, and four Pandora stores in Newtownabbey, Glasgow, Newbury and Leicester.

Next year, it is planning to open further Pandora and Argento stores in Scotland, England and the Isle of Man.

It is also planning to create Northern Ireland's largest Pandora "megastore" in Belfast.

Belfast Telegraph