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