Retailer Arnotts appoints Ray Hernan as new chief executive
Company keen to avoid its loans being transferred to Nama
Arnotts in Dublin. Trading remains difficult in spite of a significant investment in-store in the past few years. Photograph: Alan Betson
This role was previously filled by Nigel Blow, who became chairman of Arnotts earlier this year following a reorganisation of the business. This followed a decision by Mr Blow to return to the UK for family reasons.
Staff at Arnotts were informed of Mr Hernan’s appointment yesterday. A chartered accountant by profession, Mr Hernan joined the retailer in 2010 as chief operating officer, having previously held senior finance positions in Brown Thomas, Selfridges, Ryanair and the Irish Agricultural Wholesale Society.
Commenting on the appointment, Mr Blow said: “I wish Ray the very best of luck in what will be an immensely challenging role.”
Mr Hernan faces a number of challenges, notably in terms of the group’s trading and debts.
It recently hired Investec to seek a potential purchaser for its IBRC loans. These will be offered for sale by IBRC’s special liquidators either next month or in October. If they are not sold the loans will be transferred to the National Asset Management Agency to be worked through over a number of years.
Arnotts is keen to avoid its loans being transferred to Nama and is hoping to identify a suitable buyer for its IBRC debt.
Trading remains difficult in spite of a significant investment in-store by the company in the past few years.
Arnotts Holdings Ltd reduced its losses to just over €3 million in the year to the end of January 2013, from €19.4 million previously 12 months.
Sales, including those of concession operators, fell by 1.4 per cent to €117 million but on a like-for-like basis rose by 2 per cent.