CASH-AND-CARRY wholesaler the Barry Group saw profits increase last year in what it described as a tough trading environment.
Managing director, Jim Barry, said the firm’s expansion plans are, however, being hindered by a lack of available credit from banks.
Turnover at the Cork company, which owns the Carry Out off-licence brand, increased 16% to €241 million for the year to the end of January last.
It was not revealed by how much profit increased on the previous year’s €2.57m figure, but the Barry Group did say profits were up.
Mr Barry said he was "very happy" with the company’s performance considering how tough the environment is at the moment.
"Business certainly got tougher this year," he said, adding that overall it was a "solid year".
Plans to double the number of Carry Out stores from 50 to 100 by the end of next year have been put in doubt, as Mr Barry said that given the lack of cash available from banks, a lot of plans have changed.
He said: "At the moment it’s a matter of keeping the head down and getting on with things. We are working harder now than we ever had." Mr Barry added that Ireland is moving closer to a "bankless society".
The Carry Out and Buy Lo brands are trading well, he said, and the company will, in time, open more of these outlets.
The Barry Group is based in Mallow and also operates the Costcutter, Quik Pick and Buy Lo chains.
Originally founded by James A Barry in 1955, the Barry Group has been in business for over 50 years and employs 240 people.
As well as operating in Ireland, Barry Group trades internationally in over 15 countries.
This appeared in the printed version of the Irish Examiner Friday, August 12, 2011