Prof­its jump to €29.8m at op­er­a­tor of Spar stores

Irish Independent - Business Week - - Front Page - Gor­don Dee­gan

PRE-TAX prof­its at the owner of the Spar fran­chise in Ire­land, the BWG Group, rose by 23pc to €29.83m last year.

BWG Un­lim­ited Com­pany and sub­sidiaries op­er­ate a net­work of stores across Ire­land and the UK and rev­enues at the group in­creased marginally, from €1.392bn to €1.41bn, in the 12 months to the end of Septem­ber last.

A break­down of the group’s rev­enues show that 87.5pc were gen­er­ated in the Re­pub­lic of Ire­land, to­talling €1.22bn, with the re­main­ing €174.6m gen­er­ated in the UK.

Num­bers em­ployed last year fell from 1,940 to 1,877 with staff costs in­creas­ing from €60.9m to €70.79m.

The group op­er­ates the Spar, Spar Ex­press and Eurospar fran­chise in Ire­land and the south-west of Eng­land and also op­er­ates un­der the Mace, Londis and XL brands in Ire­land.

The group also op­er­ates Ir­ish and UK dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tres which sup­ply its af­fil­i­ated re­tail­ers.

It also op­er­ates 21 cash and carry out­lets un­der the Value Cen­tre brand through­out Ire­land which sup­ply the in­de­pen­dent re­tail sec­tor, the li­censed trade, food­ser­vice and hospitality sec­tors.

The direc­tors said they con- sider that both the re­sults for the year and the trad­ing prospects for the fu­ture are sat­is­fac­tory and it is their in­ten­tion to con­tinue to de­velop the ex­ist­ing busi­ness.

The group’s op­er­at­ing prof­its last year in­creased by 18.5pc, from €28.12m to €33.2m. The group recorded its pre-tax profit of €29.8m af­ter fi­nance costs of €3.4m. The op­er­at­ing prof­its take ac­count of non-cash de­pre­ci­a­tion and amor­ti­sa­tion costs of €13.7m.

The cash pile in­creased from €45.88m to €50.19m. The group en­joyed post-tax prof­its of €27.23m af­ter pay­ing cor­po­ra­tion tax of €2.59m.

Pay to three direc­tors, John Clo­hisey, Leo Craw­ford and John O’Don­nell, last year in­creased from €1.04m to €1.07m.

The Jo­han­nes­burg-listed Spar South Africa (SSA), owns an 80pc stake in BWG and ear­lier this year re­ported to in­vestors that sales at BWG rose 2.9pc to €730m in the six months to the end of March this year.

SSA re­vealed that Storm Emma, which paral­ysed trans­port ser­vices here and sparked panic sales of bread and other food items, helped drive “sig­nif­i­cant turnover growth” at BWG.

SSA stated: “The busi­ness recorded sig­nif­i­cant turnover growth in the month of March, not only im­pacted by the ear­lier Easter, but also driven by the ma­jor storm weather that closed down large por­tions of Ire­land and the United King­dom as con­sumers bought in large quan­ti­ties of food and bev­er­ages.”

The ac­counts re­veal that in July 2016, the group paid £12.25m for UK re­tail firm, Ap­pleby West­ward Group.

Cost of sales in the 12 months to the end of Septem­ber last to­talled €1.2bn and other costs last year in­cluded ware­hous­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion ex­penses of €60.2m; mar­ket­ing and sell­ing ex­penses of €54.6m and ad­min­is­tra­tive and IT ex­penses of €44.27m.

BWG CEO Leo Craw­ford

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