DIY and home improvement retailer B&Q Ireland recorded a threefold jump in profits during 2020 as lockdowns and the shift to working from home prompted consumers to spend more on their homes and gardens.
Its latest set of accounts filed with the companies office, which cover the year ended January 31st, 2021, show the retailer achieved a profit after tax of €19.2 million, which was up from €5.9 million the year before. The company did not pay a dividend to shareholders.
Sales growth at the group was up 7.5 per cent as against 4.3 per cent the year before. It said the higher annual sales and profits “reflect the better sales at the start of the year, and the agility with which the business adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic”.
The accounts show the group availed of the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) “to help provide some security for colleagues at a time when we were all facing uncertainty”. It said this allowed directors to “make business decisions to adapt to the challenges of Covid-19”.
Once stores reopened in May 2021, the company saw higher annual sales, and refunded the State the payments it had received through the scheme, along with the commercial rates relief it was afforded.
During the financial year management undertook an annual impairment review of the company’s assets, which resulted in an impairment reversal of €3 million for fixtures and fittings, as well as €3.3 million for right of use assets.
The group also increased its average headcount from 575 the year before to 587. It spent €13.4 million on employees, which was up from €12.6 million. The company’s directors received a pay rise from €129,000 the year before to €159,000.
The total assets of the company amounted to €51.2 million, which was up from €31.6 million the year before. Its liabilities amounted to €22.9 million, which was up from €19.2 million, resulting in a net asset position of €28.4 million, up from €12.4 million.
The directors said the company “continues to perform well in the current market, and is looking at opportunities to develop further”.
“Where possible the company is also seeking to eliminate complex or heavily bespoke technologies to reduce running costs,” they said.
“We’re committed to making it easier for customers to improve their homes, and in January 2021 the business introduced a remote payment capability enabling the launch of new call-and-collect and call-and-deliver services.”