Extension at engineering firm raises hopes of fresh jobs
UK PRECISION engineering group Renishaw is planning a large expansion at its Irish base in Swords, Co Dublin, raising hopes that a number of new jobs could be in the pipeline.
The head of the Irish division, Mark Moloney, refused to discuss the plans yesterday. He said the company did not want to go public at the moment.
He cited regulatory issues and also said that the company wanted to engage with locals and the planning process before making any announcement.
The company has just filed a planning application with Fingal County Council seeking permission for a massive single-storey extension extending over nearly 27,000 sq ft.
That's roughly comparable in size to a mid-sized office block. Precise details of the planned extension to the company's Swords operation weren't available on Fingal County Council's website.
Renishaw, which was co-founded by Clontarf native David McMurty, has had a presence in Ireland for about 30 years.
It manufactures precision engineering equipment, including probes and machinery that are used in a number of sectors, from medicine to metrology.
The company, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange and has a market capitalisation of about £1bn (€1.2bn), currently employs over 70 people in Swords.
In 2008, it announced that it was planning to create 60 new research and development and manufacturing jobs at the Swords facility by 2011.
Those jobs were to be focused on developing expertise in treatment of neurological disease.
However, Renishaw's employee numbers in Ireland actually fell from 100 to 70 between June 2009 and the end of December 2010 after the group implemented cost-cutting measures.
The Irish unit has recently been extremely profitable. Accounts for the division for the 18 months to the end of 2010 show that it reported revenue of €92.3m, and a pre-tax profit of €21.3m.
The accounts for that period also note that its metrology business "exceeded expectations", with sales to the Far East "well ahead of forecast".