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B&Q remains confident despite ‘disappointing’ year for Irish sales

DIY store, B&Q saw profits turn to losses in Ireland during 2010, calling it a "disappointing" year.

Pre-tax losses were almost €1.3 million in the year to January 29, 2011, compared with a profit of €798,050 in the previous year.

The company noted that, while the trading performance was disappointing, it was in line with Irish market conditions.

The directors said they believe B&Q still offers "great products and great prices" to attract customers to stores, according to the latest accounts filed.

The company said that in the medium term it expects to grow its share of home improvement expenditure by strengthening its appeal to the DIY customer.

During 2010 and 2011, B&Q continued with its renewal programme, which includes updating product ranges, introducing services and improving stores to "ensure B&Q is the first and only store for a greater proportion of customer’ home improvement spend".

"The key business risks and uncertainties affecting the company relate to tough market conditions at present in Ireland and low consumer confidence. B&Q is also undergoing a significant period of change and investment in revamping the store environment, rolling out an improved offer and building an enhanced offer in wider home improvement services.

"The company continues to invest in the design and layout of our stores to ensure they stock the latest products that our customers want to buy and the use of technology to monitor our customers’ buying patterns," the accounts read.

Interim dividends of €10,013 were paid during the year, compared with €1,300,000 in the previous year. The company made cash donations to charity and community projects of €3,624.

Turnover in the year was €104m, compared with €112m in the previous year.

Staff costs came to €17m, from €18.5m the previous year. Employee numbers fell from 795 to 774. Directors’ fees were €20,000.

Source : Niamh Hennessy - Irish

10 November 2011
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