Turnover at online retailer Littlewoods Ireland up 2.4%

Pretax profits down 22% at group whose parent is owned by the Barclay Brothers

Littlewoods Ireland recently embarked on a €2 million advertising campaign

Littlewoods Ireland recently embarked on a €2 million advertising campaign

 

Littlewoods Ireland, which recently embarked on a €2 million advertising campaign in a bid to boost sales locally, saw turnover rise by just 2.4 per cent in the year to the end of June 2015, according to newly-filed accounts from its parent Shop Direct Ireland Limited.

Pretax profits at the retailer fell 22 per cent from €3.25 million to €2.53 million during the year on turnover of €62.5 million, up from €61 million in 2014.

The group’s parent Shop Direct, which owns both the Littlewoods and Very brands in the UK, is owned by billionaire brothers Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, who have been embroiled in an ongoing battle with Irish property developer Paddy McKillen for control of the world-famous Claridge’s, Berkeley and Connaught hotels. The group recently reported a 78 per cent rise in pretax profits after scrapping the famous Littlewoods catalogue last May.

According to the latest accounts for the Irish subsidiary, which draws over 90 per cent of sale from online and mobile, revenue growth was mainly restricted to the second half of the year, with turnover rising 6.3 per cent versus the same period in 2014.

Gross margin percentage at Shop Direct Ireland rose by 1.4 per cent to 44.1 per cent the company said with gross profit increasing from €26 million to €27.5 million, up 5.9 per cent. The rise was attributed to an increase in sales and a continued focus on bad debt controls.

The directors proposed a final dividend for the year of €5.11 per share amounting to €143,751 in total. This compares to a dividend of €3.06 per share amounting to €91,803 a year earlier.