Tuesday 16 July 2019

Dyson's Irish profits fall as sales hit €44m

Company founder Sir James Dyson with two compact Dyson vacuum cleaners (Dyson/PA)
Company founder Sir James Dyson with two compact Dyson vacuum cleaners (Dyson/PA)
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

TURNOVER at Dyson's Irish arm soared 55pc to €44.4m last year as sales of its vacuum cleaners jumped and hairdryer sales also performed well.

But despite the surge in turnover, newly-filed accounts for the business show that its operating profit declined by 15pc, from €897,000 to €755,000 in 2017.

The company also paid a €950,000 dividend to its parent firm, up from €500,000 a year earlier, the accounts reveal.

Pro-Brexit Dyson founder, billionaire James Dyson, caused outrage in Britain last month when it emerged the group is moving its corporate headquarters from the UK to Singapore.

The firm denied the move had anything to do with Brexit.

Directors for the Irish division said in the latest set of accounts that 2017 had seen continued growth in vacuum cleaner sales, driven by cord-free products. Sales in that cord-free product category rose 27pc during the year, they noted, off-setting a 13pc decline in cord-based cleaners.

"The environmental control category also saw growth thanks to purifier awareness campaigns around health and well-being in the home," they added. "The hair dryer category also grew as the awareness of the Supersonic increased. With this being a gifting product, most of the growth came in the fourth quarter."

But pre-tax profits at the group as a percentage of turnover fell to just 1pc in 2017, compared to 3pc a year earlier.

While its distribution costs rose only marginally in 2017 despite the increase in sales, its administrative expenses climbed almost 20pc to just over €4m.

It employed 63 people during 2017, up from 44 in 2016. All but four of the staff working with the Irish unit in 2017 were engaged in selling and distribution activities.

Dyson said last month that its decision to move to Singapore, where it will build its new electric car, wasn't due to Brexit or tax reasons.

It's been speculated that tax concessions in investment and attractive intellectual property laws in Singapore may have played a role in the decision.

Dyson had announced last autumn that it would make its electric car in the city state.

Chief executive Jim Rowan said the manufacturer, lauded by politicians as a British success story, was a "global technology company", with 96pc of its sales outside Britain.

"Our growth rate in Asia has doubled most other places in the world over recent years," he said, adding that more than half of its profit came from the region and the move was aimed at "future proofing" Dyson.

The group first surpassed profits of £1bn (€1.1bn) in 2018, adding to Mr Dyson's considerable wealth.

Additional reporting: Reuters

Irish Independent

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