Belfast Telegraph

Arnotts turns corner after rocky year

By John Mulligan

Shoes and jewellery helped to boost the performance at Dublin's Arnotts department store during its last financial year as revenue rose 2.7% to €114.2m (£84.6m) in the 12 months to January 25, newly filed accounts for the business show.

Arnotts - a popular destination for shoppers from Northern Ireland - has since been acquired by international retailer Selfridges, part of the Weston family empire.

The Westons also own Brown Thomas, and the family's other interests include a major stake in the owner of Primark and Selfridges, Associated British Foods.

The accounts for Arnotts Ltd, which do not include the soon-to-be-closed Boyers business, showed that the department store made an operating profit of €159,000 (£117,769) in the year, compared to a pre-exceptional operating loss of €1.1m (£0.8m) in the previous 12 months.

Last year's results had been flattered by a €9.9m (£7.3m) exceptional gain in relation to the winding-up of a pension scheme.

"The acquisition of the Arnotts business by the Selfridges group has been very well received by customers, employees and suppliers," said new Arnotts managing director Donald McDonald.

"We are pleased with the performance of the business since the acquisition, and sales are well ahead of last year."

The accounts showed that improved awareness of the store's shoe garden and jewellery hall continued to benefit the business.

The results also noted that Selfridges was committed to investing in Arnotts by "enhancing the shopping experience for its customers, upgrading the store environment and introducing new premium brands".

Belfast Telegraph