Smyths Toys sees UK profits soar 70pc
Sales of Star Wars Lego, Power Rangers and Hatchimals last year helped family-owned Irish toy-seller Smyths to almost double pre-tax profits in its UK operations to £10m (€11.2m).
New figures show that the Galway-headquartered firm enjoyed strong growth in 2016 in the UK with sales climbing by 19pc from £334m to £396.49m (€447m) on the back of new store openings.
The revenue increase contributed to pre-tax profits increasing by 69pc going from £5.96m to £10m.
The 19pc increase in revenues for Smyths Toys UK in the 12 months to the end of December last followed sales growth of 30pc in 2015.
The firm only entered the UK market in 2007 and its business has grown exponentially in the UK since then.
The firm is Ireland's largest toy retailer and the extent of its profits and revenues here are not available as the firm has unlimited status in Ireland.
The boost in profits and revenues in the UK followed the opening of 12 new shops there last year.
The company now operates 79 stores in England, Scotland and Wales with an additional 21 stores in the Republic and seven in Northern Ireland.
According to the directors' report for the UK arm, the directors are very pleased with the increase in profit particularly given the current economic climate and increased competition in the market place.
The directors state that the revenue increase was driven by an increase of sales at its existing stores and the opening of the 12 new stores.
Numbers employed by the UK arm last year increased from 1,550 to 1,888 with staff costs increasing from £22m to £28.27m.
The directors state that it is envisaged that further expansion will occur in the UK market in the coming years through the opening of new stores.
Based on an average revenue per store in the UK in 2016, the business across Ireland boasts estimated annual revenues of over €600m.
The business is led by the four low-profile Smyth brothers, Anthony, Liam, Patrick and Thomas.
The expansion last year in the UK contributed to the firm's lease costs increasing from £17.6m to £19.94m while the firm's non-cash depreciation costs topped £7m
The firm's accumulated profits last year increased from £11.9m to £20.7m while the company's cash increased from £4.5m to £9.3m.
The Irish firm did file annual accounts up to 2007. However, it changed its status to unlimited after its 2006 accounts made front page news - revealing that the four Smyth brothers shared management fees of €14m.