Orla Kiely re­tail em­pire closed with debts of over €8m

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS NEWS - GOR­DON DEE­GAN

The Orla Kiely fash­ion re­tail em­pire went out of busi­ness with debts of more than £7.25 mil­lion (€8.1 mil­lion).

The joint ad­min­is­tra­tors of the col­lapsed re­tail busi­ness an­tic­i­pate that un­se­cured cred­i­tors owed £5 mil­lion will be left empty-handed from the ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The ad­min­is­tra­tors, Chris Newell and Si­mon Bon­ney, es­ti­mated that the to­tal de­fi­ciency from the busi­ness amounts to £7.5 mil­lion.

Ms Kiely’s fash­ion em­pire had been helped in no small way by the Duchess of Cam­bridge, Kate Mid­dle­ton, who has worn her dis­tinc­tive print coats on a num­ber of oc­ca­sions.

Celebrity fans

Other celebrity fans of the Orla Kiely brand in­cluded Girls cre­ator, au­thor and ac­tor Lena Dun­ham and ac­tors Keira Knight­ley, Kirsten Dunst and Zooey Deschanel.

How­ever, in Septem­ber, the an­nounce­ment Ms Kiely’s re­tail busi­ness had shut down with the loss of 48 jobs here and in the UK sent shock waves across the in­dus­try.

The most re­cent ac­counts for the 12 months to the end of March 2017 showed that the busi­ness had recorded earn­ings of £322,551 as rev­enue climbed by 16 per cent to £8.3 mil­lion.

Now, a 60-page re­port by the ad­min­is­tra­tors, in­clud­ing ap­pen­dices, lodged with Com­pa­nies House in the UK, sheds some light on how the fash­ion re­tail em­pire col­lapsed.

In the re­port the ad­min­is­tra­tors stated that from 2000, the busi­ness traded prof­itably with many years of suc­cess with a strong brand.

‘Dif­fi­cul­ties’

They said that “the com­pany be­gan to ex­pe­ri­ence dif­fi­cul­ties and as a re­sult, the prof­itabil­ity of the busi­ness be­gan to suf­fer. This is in part due to the down­turn in the for­tunes of re­tail cus­tomers in the cur­rent trad­ing con­di­tions.”

The doc­u­ments also re­veal a new fi­nance di­rec­tor was ap­pointed to the firm in July 2018 “fol­low­ing which a num­ber of is­sues were high­lighted with the com­pany’s fi­nances”.

The ad­min­is­tra­tors said that as a re­sult of the com­pany’s fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties and the is­sues high­lighted by the new fi­nance di­rec­tor, the di­rec­tors, Orla Kiely and her hus­band, Der­mott Rowan, sought ad­vice from an al­ter­nate in­sol­vency prac­ti­tioner who ad­vised that the busi­ness should be closed down and the com­pany shouldto be placed into cred­i­tors’ vol­un­tary liq­ui­da­tion.

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