Dubray Books secured temporary rent concessions worth €244,000

Accounts show Irish retailer made a profit of €927,000 despite Covid-19 lockdowns

Irish retailer Dubray Books secured temporary concessions from landlords on its store rents worth €244,000 during the pandemic, according to its latest abridged accounts.

The accounts for Dubray Books Ltd cover a 17-month period to the end of January 2021. This was a period when it was subject to Covid lockdown restrictions for almost nine months.

In spite of the restrictions, Dubray recorded increased profits. The company made a profit of €927,000 in the 17-month period compared with a surplus of €582,000 for the year to end of August 2019. No turnover figure is given in the abridged accounts.

Dubray was acquired by Irish-owned retailer Eason for €5.5 million on January 31st 2020, with the company paying its former owners – the Barry family – a dividend of €1.1 million just before the sale to Eason was completed, according to the accounts.


This left the retailer with accumulated profits of just more than €1.8 million while its cash reserves at the end of January 2021 rose to €2.3 million from €930,000 in the previous financial period. This cash position reflected a strong trading performance over the Christmas 2020 period, before the retail sector was locked down again for almost five months.

The accounts also show a sharp rise in directors’ remuneration to just more than €1 million, up from €234,000 in the previous reporting period.

No dividends paid

In a note to the accounts, Dubray states that its stores continue to be subject to customer capacity limits to facilitate social distancing requirements.

The accounts note that the company continues to benefit from “substantial government employment subsidies”, which have been used to “preserve employment levels”.

It also notes continued landlord and local authority support that have helped to “mitigate” property costs during the period.

“The longer term impact of the pandemic on consumer behaviour and general economic activity have yet to be fully seen,” the note to the accounts adds.

Dubray had 92 staff at the end of January 2021 compared with 85 at end of August 2019. It is understood that the wage subsidies enable the retailer to retain all of its full-time employees during the lockdown periods. Redundancy payments of €33,000 were made during the latest financial period. The company operates from a network of eight stores.

No dividends or directors remuneration has been paid since Eason acquired the business in early 2020.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times