Thursday 22 March 2018

McMurtry to bank €17.5m as Renishaw expands overseas

Ireland's greatest living inventor to get big payout following record results

Inventor Sir David McMurtry
Inventor Sir David McMurtry

John Reynolds

Sir David McMurtry, the Dublin-born founder of UK manufacturing technology company Renishaw, will bank a €17.5m dividend in October on the back of record results announced by the company this week.

The Bristol-headquartered firm, in which the 75-year-old Clontarf native has a 36pc stake worth about €800m, makes precision measuring equipment and other manufacturing technology. It is a supplier of probes and measuring equipment to the giant Chinese and South Korean firms that make the latest Apple iPhone and Samsung smartphones and is working to deepen its relationship with them.

Former Concorde engine problem-solver and Mini enthusiast McMurtry founded the company in the early 1970s. It employs 200 people in Ireland at a factory in Swords in north Dublin.

Renishaw booked sales of €707m for the financial year just ended and profits of €206m, having doubled its sales to customers in Asia.

The bulk of sales, some €667m, came from the core metrology division of the business, which makes equipment for manufacturers in the aerospace, automotive and other high-tech manufacturing industries.

The company also outlined its outlook for next year, predicting sales of €657m to €693m, with profits of €121m to €150m. If achieved, this could see the Dubliner bank a further €12.5m dividend.

"We're constantly working with these types of customers, looking at how we can supply them our other products and how we might develop innovative solutions for them," said assistant chief executive Ben Taylor. "Decisions get made very quickly in these businesses and we have to be prepared to supply large volumes of equipment at very short notice.

"We can't say right now if we'll get any further windfall in terms of sales, but we're working on the opportunities and will have to wait and see if they commit to new orders," he added.

Taylor also outlined how the €2.2bn-valued company is providing more service and support to its customers, which is helping to generate sales.

"We're doing more system sales involving training, installation, software upgrades and service support. The support in the field means we help our customers optimise how they use our products.

Thanks to their increased knowledge, we are not only seeing growth because our customers are growing in numbers, but also because they are willing to invest more in our products and solutions than they have in the past."

Although Renishaw recently purchased two buildings adjacent to its existing factory in Swords, it hasn't yet made any further plans for them beyond earmarking them to facilitate growth in its manufacturing operations whenever required.

In an exclusive interview last month, McMurtry told this newspaper that in the event of a 'Brexit' scenario (a British exit from the EU), he would consider moving manufacturing for European customers from Britain to Dublin in order to get around paying import duties.

This week the company also announced that it is continuing a capital investment programme buying land on which to build new offices with training, research and development and demonstration facilities in the US, Mexico, Russia, Holland, the Czech Republic and Spain.

It is also awaiting a judgement on plans to expand a huge facility in Wales that is home to its healthcare manufacturing division.

Sunday Indo Business

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