An increase in income from Covid-19 testing and vaccinations last year contributed to the Irish arm of Boots enjoying record revenues of €433.4 million.
Accounts filed by Boots Retail (Ireland) Ltd show that pretax profits increased by 4.4 per cent to €24.9 million on the back of the record revenues, which surged by15 per cent to €433.37 million in the 12 months to the end of August last.
Revenues were boosted by a 105 per cent year-on-year increase in online sales while a directors’ note with the accounts said that pharmacy sales increased by 21 per cent and “strengthened primarily as a result of an increase in Covid-19 testing and vaccinations”.
The note attributed the rise in pharmacy sales due to increased footfall in stores as a result of improved product offering.
Boots increased the number of its stores from 89 to 90 last year.
The company paid a dividend for the year of €20.8 million, having paid a dividend of €23.2 million in fiscal 2020.
The firm’s sales are made up of 86.6 per cent retail and 13.4 per cent in pharmacy.
Retail revenue increased by 15 per cent “mainly due to gaining market share as a result of some competitors going out of business and improved product offering”.
The s accounts said that the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions by the fourth quarter saw a recovery in footfall along with an associated upturn in retail sales and gross margin.
Employee numbers rose from 1,657 to 1,706. Staff costs increased from €64.09 million to €71.22 million.
The firm did not avail of Government Covid-19 wage subsidy payments last year after receiving €3.4 million in the prior year.
Directors’ pay totalled €633,000 and the remuneration of the highest paid director was €256,000 including pension payments of €30,000.
The company last year recorded post-tax profits of €21.79 million after paying corporation tax of €3.1 million.
At the end of August last, the company’s shareholder funds totalled €124 million and its accumulated profits were €21.8 million.