Homebase profits rise as customers ‘fall back in love’ with homes and gardens

Pretax profits rise by 89% to €8m at Irish arm of retailer which operates 10 stores

Homebase’s physical stores were shut for eight weeks during the first lockdown in spring 2020. Photograph: iStock

Homebase’s physical stores were shut for eight weeks during the first lockdown in spring 2020. Photograph: iStock

 

Customers “falling back in love with their homes and gardens” during the pandemic contributed to pretax profits at the Irish arm of Homebase last year almost doubling to €8.09 million.

New accounts for Homebase firm, HHGL (ROI) Ltd show revenues last year increased by 12 per cent from €47.18 million to €52.83 million.

Pretax profits increased by 89 per cent from €4.2 million in 2019 to €8.09 million, while the 2019 profit was inflated by an exceptional gain of €5.27 million.

The home improvement and garden product retailer operates 10 stores in the Republic. Its physical stores were shut for eight weeks during the first lockdown in spring 2020, with trading moving online.

Homebase said demand was strong when stores reopened in May last year, “with customers falling back in love with their homes and gardens”.

The retailer expanded its range last year, with 5,500 products launched.

Three-year plan

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation before exceptional items of €8.4 million for 2020 compared to a €1 million loss in 2019. Homebase said the result “marks the conclusion of the management team’s turnaround strategy that started in June 2018 and the beginning of a three-year growth plan”. Directors said this plan would include new store openings.

Homebase Ireland last year received €874,000 in Government Covid-19 wage subsidy supports. The business also availed of business rates relief totalling €700,000. Numbers employed fell from 362 to 304, while staff costs declined from €7.03 million to €6.1 million.