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Kate factor sees profits at Orla's firm surge by massive 32pc

Orla Kiely

Orla Kiely's fashion empire - helped in no small way by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton - continued to prosper last year, with pre-tax profits up by 32pc to £204,764. (€260,792).

The group recorded the increase in profit in spite of revenues decreasing by 9.6pc, going from £9.12m to £8.24m, in the 12 months to the end of March 31.

The directors attribute the drop in revenues to the business moving away from lower margin discounting and concentrating on growing the group's retail and internet business.

The Irish designer - best known for her quirky, retro stem prints - runs the firm with her husband, Dermott Rowan.

During the year, the Irish designer's business received a boost from the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, after she wore one of Kiely's designer dress coats.

Other celebrity fans include Girls creator, author and actor Lena Dunham and actors Keira Knightley, Kirsten Dunst and Zooey Deschanel.

The group's established and growing license programme continues to bring the brand into thousands of stores from John Lewis in the UK to Myer in Australia and Target in the United States.

CEO of Kiely Rowan Dermott Rowan said yesterday: "We've firmly established Orla Kiely as a uniquely distinctive global brand. This follows 20 years of hard work from our brilliantly talented team, together with constant reinvestment."

He said: "The business today is something really special - sustainable and profitable, with well-managed product lines. The brands have an exciting future."

He added the business has enjoyed a very satisfactory year with good trading across the three key Orla Kiely lines: clothing, home and accessories.


The directors' report states that administrative expenses were kept under tight control "and it is the aim going forward to make further cost reductions where these will not interfere with the continuing good performance of the company overall, despite difficult, but nevertheless improving, economic conditions".

The figures show that the 54pc of the group's revenues were recorded in the UK with 25pc in Europe, 13pc in the US and 7.5pc in 'rest of world'.