Storm Emma blew sizeable hole in Mothercare’s profits last year

Profits down 72% for year to end of March 2018

Mothercare’s Irish profits fell by 72 per cent to €135,961 in the 12 months to the end of March 25th last. Photograph: iStock

Mothercare’s Irish profits fell by 72 per cent to €135,961 in the 12 months to the end of March 25th last. Photograph: iStock

 

The effects of Storm Emma had “a sizeable impact” on the performance of Mothercare’s Irish arm last year.

New accounts filed by Mothercare Ireland Ltd show that its pretax profits fell by 72 per cent to €135,961 in the 12 months to the end of March 25th 2018.

The period covered Storm Ophelia in October 2017 and Storm Emma last March, when commercial activity slowed or stopped across much of the country.

The profit reduction came despite the company’s revenues increasing by 3 per cent to €28.47 million during the year. Accumulated profits totalled €2.4 million and the company’s cash pile increased from €1.19 million to €1.36 million.

In a report accompanying the accounts, directors said they were satisfied with the results given the loss of several days’ trade due to severe weather and the adverse effects of running an outlet store to liquidate old stock. While successful, the outlet store had a negative effect on margins.

The directors said “severe weather caused for the first time in the company’s history, the closure of all stores in the business for several days, which had a sizeable impact on turnover”.

They were “optimistic” about the coming year, building on strong online growth and availing of opportunities to move into more profitable locations.

Waterford

Mothercare closed its Waterford store since the end of the accounting year but continues to operate in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Tralee, Newbridge, Portlaoise, Limerick, Drogheda, Dundalk and Sligo.

Mothercare Ireland was set up in 1992 by David Ward who had previously run the BHS, Habitat and Mothercare businesses here for the Storehouse Group.

Numbers employed by the group last year fell from 250 to 229 with staff costs declining from €5.1 million to €4.5 million. Pay to directors increased from €155,311 to €182,846.

The profit took account of non-cash depreciation costs of €149,067 while operating lease costs increased from €2.4 million to €2.7 million.