Pretax losses at frozen-food retailer rise almost threefold

Iceland has 27 sites in Republic but pauses further expansion

Pretax losses at the Irish arm of frozen-food retailer Iceland this year increased almost threefold to €9.04 million.

New accounts show that losses increased by 177 per cent at Iceland Stores Ireland Ltd as revenues slumped by €14.29 million, or 21.6 per cent, from €66.08 million to €51.79 million in the 12 months to the end of March 25th this year.

The €9.04 million pretax loss for this year comes after a pretax loss of €3.25 million last year.

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Referring to sales declining by 21.6 per cent in a note with the accounts, the directors said that “the Covid-19 pandemic changed consumer lifestyles and purchasing behaviour, creating challenges for both the company and the retail sector as a whole”.

The business has paused further expansion in Ireland for now with the directors saying they “are looking to embed the changes required post-Brexit over the next 12 months before looking to expand the business further”.

On the year to March 25th, the directors said that “this was a challenging year for the company, meeting the unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

The note said the decline in sales drove a €4.25 million decrease in adjusted earnings before interest tax depreciation and amortisation (ebitda) to €5.48 million.

Exceptional costs

The firm incurred some Covid-related costs throughout the period and this year those exceptional costs totalled €264,000, and this followed an exceptional cost of €455,000 in the prior year.

The firm this year recorded post-tax losses of €8.15 million after recording a corporation tax gain of €888,000.

The losses this year take account of lease payments of €2.69 million and non-cash depreciation costs of €3.15 million.

The retailer operates from 27 sites in the Republic of Ireland and numbers employed this year increased from 438 to 449, made up of 24 in the head office and 425 in sales.

Staff costs this year reduced from €7.84 million to €7.14 million. Emoluments to directors reduced from €283,000 to €116,000.

A shareholders’ deficit totalled €19.5 million.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times