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East of England department store retailer Palmers repaid debt and replenished cash balances after selling one of its properties last year.

 

The heritage retailer, which may soon become part of the Beales department store group (see related), sold its Bury St Edmunds fashion store for just over £2 million last year, new accounts show. It has since closed its home store in the town.


Palmers booked a gain of £1.4 million on the Buttermarket freehold divestment, masking underlying six-figure trading losses for the year.


Net income totalled £1.1 million, which compared with a £149,510 net loss for 2015–16. Year to January 27, 2018 turnover totalled £7.2 million, down 0.8 percent on the prior year.


The property sale also helped it eliminate bank debt and overdrafts, with the company ending the year with cash totalling £1.37 million.


Palmers, which dates back to the 1830s, sells furniture and beds at both its remaining stores, its original site at Market Place, Yarmouth as well as a second unit at Lowestoft.


In May, it was reported that Palmers was in advanced takeover talks with the owner of Beales, the department store chain controlled by Andrew Perloff, whose other interests including the Airsprung beds and upholstery group.


Palmers' accounts — just lodged with the Companies Registrar — were signed off in April and do not reference it subsequently entering takeover talks with Beales.


Total equity for the Palmers' business advanced to £4.15 million (£3.06m).

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