Business Irish

Thursday 29 September 2016

McMurtry says China is still set for growth

Ireland's greatest living inventor says he's upbeat about Chinese prospects as his latest venture throws off millions in dividends, says John Reynolds

John Reynolds

Published 31/01/2016 | 02:30

Sir David McMurtry remains upbeat about business in China, despite a fall in its sales in Asia and worsening economic news from there
Sir David McMurtry remains upbeat about business in China, despite a fall in its sales in Asia and worsening economic news from there

Dubliner Sir David McMurtry, co-founder of UK-based precision engineering technology firm Renishaw, will bank a €4.3m dividend in April and remains upbeat about its business in China, despite a fall in its sales in Asia and worsening economic news from there.

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The 75-year-old Clontarf native is Ireland's greatest living inventor and owns a 36pc, €630m, stake in the company.

"There are still new products being made there. Each requires new investment in manufacturing process and control, though they may make less of each product," McMurtry, a car enthusiast and former Concorde engine problem-solver, said.

"We're working on projects with customers that could result in a new substantial order, requiring a whole different product line from us. China is relying on more automation and less people in manufacturing. A robot loads a part onto a machine, and it's machined, then a Renishaw device checks it's done to exact measurements," said assistant CEO Ben Taylor.

Though Renishaw is understood to be a supplier to Korean makers of Samsung smartphones and Chinese makers of Apple iPhones, he declined to comment on whether the new product line could be used to make Apple Cars.

"Sales to smaller areas of our business, to suppliers to the oil industry, construction machinery makers and military aircraft are weaker. Sales to the car industry, countries like Mexico and the makers of the latest aircraft engines are good," he added.

Last year, the €1.7bn Bristol-headquartered company reported €320m of sales in Japan, South Korea and China alone, widely understood to have been boosted by sales of precision machinery and measuring equipment to the Samsung and Apple smartphone makers. Sales to the region for the last six months, however, were €112m.

McMurtry banked a €17.5m dividend last October on the back of record 2015 sales. The firm employs 200 people in Swords, Dublin, and forecasts 2016 sales of between €579m and €612m.

Sunday Indo Business

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