Profits jump at Orla Kiely amid online sales growth

Brand worn by numerous stars sees profit after tax increase sharply

Profits jumped at Orla Kiely last year, as a revamp of its ecommerce business boosted sales at the brand worn by the likes of Sarah Jessica Parker and the UK’s Princess of Wales.

The clothing firm reported a profit after tax £870,000 (€1.01 million) for 2023, an increase of 61 per cent compared with a year ago, the company said in a statement referring to accounts filed for parent company Olive & Orange Ltd. Turnover surged 42 per cent to just over £5 million.

“The Orla Kiely brand has delivered another year of strong trading,” Dermott Rowan, managing director and co-owner of the business, said. “Our highly successful ecommerce operation has supported a significant jump in product income, as Orla Kiely products are enjoyed by more people in more countries.”

Much of the sales growth was driven by product revenue, which in turn is driven mainly by the ecommerce business. It jumped from £2.1 million to £3.3 million during the year, the company said.


“The launch of a new website has driven significant ecommerce growth in both UK and international markets. This was supported by the opening of a new hub in the Netherlands, supporting online customers across the European Union. The extended homewares range, a new initiative launched during the year, has also supported ecommerce growth,” it added.

Royalties income, which comes from manufacturers licensed to make and distribute Orla Kiely designed products wholesale increased to £1.6 million from £1.3 million. The business currently has relationships with eight active licensees, with new licences signed this year in the womenswear, children and baby lines.

The retail arm of the so-called historic Orla Kiely business went into administration in 2018. The brand relaunched a year later.

Public figures and celebrities seen wearing Orla Kiely designs have included the UK’s Princess of Wales, as well as Keira Knightley, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kirsten Dunst and Lena Dunham.

“I am deeply proud of the Orla Kiely team for building the brand into the powerhouse of mid-century design that it is today, with a growing and dedicated international customer base,” Mr Rowan said.

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan is an Assistant Business Editor at The Irish Times