Margaret Heffernan: dividend

Dunnes Stores made an after-tax profit of nearly €7.8m in the financial year ended 31 January 2010 from its operations in Spain, food manufacturing, and property holdings, according to just-filed accounts.

Profits were down a third on the previous year while the dividend paid to Margaret Heffernan and Frank Dunne fell from nearly €5.5m to just over €146,800.

Shareholders' funds rose to €105.3m from €97.7m the previous year and the amount of cash at hand and in the bank rose from nearly €40m to almost €52m.

Turnover fell from €124.3m to €119.5m during the financial year, of which more than €76.3m was with Dunnes Stores itself.

A note to the accounts reveals that a €10.65m investment in a fellow Dunnes Stores group company called Newbridge Foods was reclassified as a liability provision "in the current year and the prior year comparative figures have been reclassified on the same basis".

Last month, the Sunday Tribune revealed that Dunne and Heffernan were paid a dividend of nearly €14.3m in 2009 by their main company in the North and Britain.

Shareholders' funds at that company stood at nearly €340m at the end of the financial year while the amount of "cash at bank and in hand" rose to nearly €440m.