Beauty company Lush is taking a 'long-term view' with the living wage - despite a profit dip

The cosmetics company began paying the living wage to staff in 2017.

By Zuzia Whelan Reporter, Fora

THE IRISH ARM of cosmetics company Lush has reported a dip in profits for 2018 following the first full year of the company providing the living wage to its staff.

In accounts just filed for Lush Dublin Ltd, covering the year to the end of June 2018, the company’s directors noted a decrease in pre-tax profits from €953,623 to €793,374.  Turnover at the company’s three Irish stores was up by 2.2% to €4.5 million. 

“The decrease in profit largely relates to increased staff costs, being the first full year of paying the Republic of Ireland living wage,” according to the directors’ report. 

 In a statement to Fora, Kim Coles, Lush’s finance director, said the company is “committed to a fair wage at all levels of the business and that a hard day’s work deserving a fair day’s pay,” 

Lush first brought in the living wage for its permanent staff in Ireland and the UK in April 2017.

As a private company we are able to take a long-term view and, while it did impact profits for the year, we expected this drop,” she said.

“We are proud to be able to commit to this. It is the right thing to do and it doesn’t affect our plans to continue,” Coles added. 

Charitable donations

Another reason for the decrease in profits is the fact that Lush Dublin has “borne the cost of charitable donations during the year, which were previously donated by Lush Retail Limited”, which is the company’s direct parent company, according to the report.

The group raises funds for a variety of causes through the sale of its Charity Pot body lotion. Lush Dublin raised €97,742 through Charity Pot sales, and has “borne the cost of subsequent charitable donations”, it said. 

Lush sells cosmetics which are not tested on animals and are often packaging free and vegan. The British company has two stores in Dublin and one in Cork. 

The living wage in Ireland is currently estimated at €11.90 by a technical group comprising a number of civil society organisations and academics, while the minimum wage is €9.55 per hour. 

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