Pre-tax profits at the InterSport Elverys sports retail chain last year increased almost three fold to €6.12m.

New accounts show that in spite of Covid-19 restrictions for almost 10 months of 2020, Staunton Sports Ltd's revenues last year decreased only marginally from €86.39m to €85.67m.

The brand operates 48 stores here and the directors state that trading performance in 2020 "remained strong".

Online sales at elverys.ie were essential for the business during lockdowns and the directors stated that in 2021 online sales continue to grow substantially.

It expects its total revenues for 2021 will exceed 2020.

The group's pre-tax profits increased by 177% from €2.2m to €6.12m for 2020 though the figures are skewed by €2.04m in "other operating income" boosting profits.

The business increased profits as the numbers employed reduced by 154 from 650 to 496 and staff costs reduced by €1.7m from €12.44m to €10.69m.

The business last year paid consultancy fees of €205,833 to John Staunton and the same amount to James Staunton.

John Staunton and James Staunton were appointed to the board in June of last year.

Concerning the marginal drop in revenues, the directors stated that "given the disruption to trade and overall uncertainty arising from Covid-19, this constitutes a solid trading performance".

They said that continued disruption to trade will be felt for the remainder of 2021 and into 2022 caused by global supply issues currently impacting deliveries from many key suppliers.

The company last year recorded post tax profits of €5.3m after paying corporation tax of €810,203.

At the end of December last, the company's shareholder funds totalled €14.55m while the firm's cash funds rose from €6.65m to €8.8m.

The company said its profits take account of non-cash depreciation costs of €1.55m.

Cash from operating activities increased more than threefold from €2.5m to €8.23m.

The directors said they are cautious of the significant threats posed by Covid-19 and will continue to develop the business in the ensuing year in further significant retail partnerships supported by continued investment in the store portfolio and online platform.

A note attached to the accounts also stated that the company continues to generate positive cash flows from trading activities by ensuring a strong gross profit margin is maintained together with constant management of overheads.