Dublin-headquartered online commerce company EShopWorld has reported higher profits and revenues for last year and said the outbreak of the coronavirus has driven a dramatic increase in e-commerce sales. 

EShopWorld makes software that enables retailers selling in more than one country to tailor their website for customers in different markets. 

The company today said its turnover for last year rose by €137m to €543.6m - an increase of 34% on 2018.

Operating profit for the year improved more than three times on 2018's performance to €6m, with profit after tax €3.4m higher at €5.4m. 

Turnover in Europe jumped by 46% and the market now accounts for two thirds of sales on the EShopWorld platform. 12 European brands were added to the platform last year.

The company said that given Europe's high disposable income and tech savvy population, it is now seen as a major growth market by North American brands with universal appeal – an important consideration for UK brands, with Brexit looming large.  

EShopWorld said the outbreak of Covid-19 has driven a dramatic step-change in e-commerce as consumers embrace online shopping and luxury brands seek global growth and more agile routes to market.

It said that since March 2020 platform sales have consistently exceeded 2019 Black Friday peak months with multiple markets recording sales increases of more than 200% in May compared to the same month last year. 

A continuation of current volumes would equate to €1 billion of sales annually, or a doubling of volumes for global brands using the premium platform.

The company's CEO and founder Tommy Kelly said the company delivered growth in reach, turnover, profitability and functionality last year.

"Brexit was a factor but Covid is also accentuating a structural shift in retail as brands focus on more agile route to market strategies and direct to consumer relationships in a premium environment," Tommy Kelly said. 

"In a pandemic world, there is incredible opportunity beyond domestic channels, particularly for apparel. As consumers around the globe turn to e-commerce our data show that brands that are able to move quickly to deliver a localised e-commerce experience are seeing 300% to 400% growth in sales," he added.