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Hurling

Calendar changes and Brexit uncertainty cause drop in O'Neills profits

The newly shortened GAA Championship season, which now wraps up in August, has had an unlikely im...



Calendar changes and Brexit un...
Hurling

Calendar changes and Brexit uncertainty cause drop in O'Neills profits

The newly shortened GAA Championship season, which now wraps up in August, has had an unlikely impact upon one area of the game. 

The sales of O'Neills replica jerseys have fallen with pretax profits at O'Neills down by a sizeable 18 percent to €1.3 million.

A director with the company, Paul Towell has said that one of the main issues for the drop in profit is the condensed calendar which has seen both of the All-Ireland series wrapped up in August as opposed to the traditional September.

He has told Gorgan Deegan of the Irish Times Business that the new timeframe has "reduced the time both for producing and selling replica jerseys".

He added that "it has also shortened the lead-in time to generate interest around the finals and coincided with the end of school holidays, all of which had a negative effect on sales."

Another factor that may have implications upon the company and it's success is Brexit and the uncertainty around it.

O'Neills recently acquired a shirt factory in Derry and they also have a retail outlet in the border county.

Towell is eager not to allow too much disruption for staff, as well as operations, as negotiations continue.

"2018 was a challenging year for us on a number of fronts with the uncertainty around Brexit.

"Brexit has, of course, created uncertainty as we have manufacturing plants on both sides of the Border and our trucks cross the border daily.

"Approximately 30 percent of our 800 staff in Strabane live in the Republic and cross the Border daily.

"We are anxiously awaiting the outcome of this week's election in the UK."

The most popular replica jerseys sold in 2018 were Limerick and Dublin, who won the hurling and football All-Ireland's respectively.

Balbriggan Textiles Ltd, which operates the O'Neills business in the Republic of Ireland employed 171 staff last year.

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