Eason returns to profit

The Irish retailer had a particularly strong festive period

Eason, the book and stationery retailer, has returned to the black recording after-tax profits of €1.2m for the year to the end of January compared to losses of €2.7m for the previous financial year.

Group turnover across the island of Ireland rose by 9% to €147m excluding joint ventures.

Online sales of books and other publications increased by a third during the year though still represent just 5% of all sales in the Republic of Ireland.

The company also benefitted from improved consumer sentiment and a particularly strong Christmas trading period.

A dividend of €500,000 is to be distributed amongst its 230 shareholders.

Eason’s Ebitda increased by 37% to €7m, and shareholder funds rose by €9.6m - the company adds that the reflects "ongoing improvement in the commercial property market."

A revaluation of its property portfolio revised the value upwards to €9m  - while it sold a shop in Belfast for a €1.3m profit.