UK Dunnes Stores subsidiary sees losses double to £4.5m

Entity hit by the value of certain properties on its books as well as admin expenses

A UK subsidiary of Dunnes Stores recorded a loss of £4.5 million (€5.4 million) in 2020, according to accounts just filed, largely due to a hit to the value of certain properties on its books.

Accounts for Dunnes Stores (UK) show that it recorded rental income from investment properties of £363,000 (€434,000) in the year to December 26th, 2020. This compared with income of £350,000 (€419,000) a year earlier.

Administrative expenses of £2.6 million (€3.1 million) and a £2.3 million (€2.7 million) hit on property values left it with a loss of £4.5 million, just over double the deficit recorded a year earlier. The business made a £950,000 (€1.13 million) loss on the disposal of investment property, the accounts show.

Dunnes’s UK entity closed 2020 with net liabilities of £10.4 million (€12.4 million) and no dividend was paid by the company. It did not employ any staff during the year but paid £36,000 (€43,000) in retirement benefits to “separately administered trust funds”.


Significant doubt

The auditor’s report notes that the directors have prepared the financial statements on a going concern basis and “do not intend to liquidate the company or to cease it operators” and they had concluded that there were “no material uncertainties that could cast significant doubt over its ability to continue as a going concern for at least a year from the date of the approval of the accounts”.

The accounts were signed off in December 2021 by Anne Heffernan, a granddaughter of Dunnes founder Ben Dunne senior and daughter of Margaret Heffernan who, along with her brother Frank Dunne, are the major shareholders in the family-owned retail group.

This entity acts as a holding company in the Dunnes group, according to the accounts. There is no other commentary about its activities. These accounts provide a window into Dunnes Stores’s financial position, given that the Irish business is unlimited and does not make its financial statements publicly available.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times