Re­tailer Me­narys sees pre-tax prof­its up 50%

Our fam­ily busi­ness has in­cred­i­ble loy­alty from our team and that’ s been a big part of our re­cov­ery, says boss step he nm cc am mon

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Front Page - BY MARK ED­WARDS

FAM­ILY-OWNED re­tail chain Me­narys has in­creased its pre-tax prof­its to al­most £250,000 while turnover has fallen back slightly to £19.3m.

The lat­est ac­counts for Me­narys Re­tail Ltd, shows pre-tax prof­its in­creased by more than 50%, ris­ing from £162,000 to £249,000 for the year end­ing Jan­uary 31, 2017.

The re­turn to profit in the last two years comes after sev­eral loss-mak­ing years that re­sulted in store clo­sures and debt re­struc­tur­ing.

And 2015 saw the clo­sure of stores in Por­ta­d­own and Dublin and a re­duc­tion in staff num­bers, down from 361 to 338.

In 2014, Me­narys en­tered into a Com­pany Vol­un­tary Ar­range­ment (CVA), a pro­ce­dure used by firms which are un­der fi­nan­cial pres­sure.

Speak­ing to the Belfast Tele­graph, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Stephen Mc­cam­mon said tough choices made by the com­pany be­tween 2012 and 2014 has led to a re­cov­ery.

“We had a par­tic­u­larly bad time,” he said.

“We dropped into a very deep loss in the year end­ing Jan­uary 2012.

“It was at that point we went through a num­ber of steps to get our­selves back on an even keel again. From that point we had five con­sec­u­tive years of im­prove­ment. Three of those have been re­duc­ing losses and the last two years have been grow­ing prof­its, al­beit modestly.”

Me­narys op­er­ates 16 out­lets in Ire­land, with 14 in North­ern Ire­land, with lo­ca­tions in­clud­ing Col­eraine, Ban­gor and Cook­stown. It em­ploys 320 staff.

It sells a range of ladies’ fash­ion brands, along with menswear and a va­ri­ety of house­hold items, as well as cos­met­ics.

Over the last year-and-a-half Me­narys ne­go­ti­ated an exit from its re­la­tion­ship with Ul­ster Bank and moved over to the Bank of Ire­land. Mr Mc­cam­mon said the CVA and the change of bank has al­lowed his team to fo­cus solely on im­prov­ing the com­pany’s bal­ance sheet.

“Be­cause of that our whole team have been a lot more fo­cused on get­ting back to busi­ness,” he said. “Our peo­ple are very fo­cused on prod­uct again. Over the last 14 months we have put for­ward bet­ter prod­uct pro­pos­als and have been of­fer­ing bet­ter value to cus­tomers. In the first 31 weeks of this fi­nan­cial year we are 2.5% ahead of the pre­vi­ous year.”

Mr Mc­cam­mon added that a big fac­tor in Me­narys turn­around was the loy­alty of its work­force.

Around 50% of its staff have worked for Me­narys for five years or more, with more than 30% with the com­pany 10 years or more.

“We have in­cred­i­ble loy­alty from our team and that’s been a big part of our re­cov­ery.

“It’s not easy but we are putting on growth. For ex­am­ple, over the last 10 weeks we have put on 5% in prof­its com­pared to last year’s num­bers, and we are very com­fort­able with that — it is steady progress.”

Me­narys man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Stephen Mc­cam­mon

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