Dubarry profits up 13% on booming overseas sales

 

ONE OF the State’s oldest firms, Dubarry, enjoyed significant growth in profits last year due largely to a 44 per cent increase in overseas sales.

Dubarry’s strong export performance resulted in the company increasing pretax profits by 13 per cent to €1.95 million on revenues that topped €20 million in the year to November 30th last.

The filings by the Galway leisure producer’s holding company, Glentawn Investments Ltd, show that revenues increased by 27 per cent to €20.4 million from €16.1 million.

According to marketing director Michael Walsh, Dubarry saw significant growth in export markets which offset a continual decline on the domestic scene.

In contrast to the 44 per cent growth overseas, Mr Walsh said sales in Ireland declined by 10 per cent. “The retail trading situation remains very challenging in Ireland.”

Dubarry experienced increased demand in its main export markets – the UK, US and continental Europe – and its new clothing range also gained momentum in the international marketplace.

Mr Walsh confirmed that Dubarry was looking for 15 per cent growth this year. He said the improved performance would be accompanied by the creation of new jobs.

“We have recently made a Ballinasloe-based senior appointment to look after our international digital marketing and, with growth plans for 2012 and beyond, we should see a number of new positions created both in Ireland and in our UK and US subsidiaries.”

The company ceased manufacturing shoes at Ballinasloe in 2004 with the loss of 75 jobs; today Dubarry shoes are produced in Portugal and the Far East.

The numbers employed by the company remained static last year at 52. However, staff costs, including directors’ remuneration, more than doubled last year to €5.3 million from €2.4 million.

The four directors of the firm are Michael Larkin, managing director Eamon Fagan, Michael Walsh and Jim Ward, who resigned in October of last year. The directors received remuneration of €3.457 million last year.

Dubarry was set up in 1937 by the Scott family. At the request of what was then effectively the local chamber of commerce, the Scotts transformed a workhouse into a shoemaking factory. The family owned the business until 1983, when Mr Fagan, the then finance director, led a management buyout.