Sunday 24 February 2019

Tech billionaire McMurtry boosts Swords headcount

Inventor's Renishaw adding jobs here after record sales

David McMurtry stepped down as CEO
David McMurtry stepped down as CEO

John Reynolds

Irish billionaire inventor David McMurtry's precision measurement, 3D printing and medical robot manufacturing firm Renishaw is boosting its Irish operation on the back of strong growth.

Employee numbers in Swords, north Co Dublin have increased from 220 to 262, with new recruits mostly working on manufacturing and design of precision measurement devices for its metrology division, the firm said.

It added that numbers are likely to increase further as the company's global workforce approaches 5,000 from a current headcount of 4,862, and it continues to invest in R&D and sales and marketing over the next two years.

The news emerged as Clontarf native McMurtry is set to bank a €17.9m dividend after the UK-headquartered firm he co-founded, and in which he owns a €1.56bn, 36pc stake, booked sales of £611.5m and a profit of £145m - up 14pc and 33pc respectively on last year.

Chief executive William Lee confirmed that as the risk of a no-deal Brexit intensifies, the company may have to invest in a new warehouse in central Europe.

"We have looked at the simplest way of shipping from our Gloucestershire HQ all around Europe.

"Most of our products are zero-rated anyway, but the logistics and administration could become more complicated," he added.

Lee took over from 78-year-old McMurtry as CEO earlier this year after working at the firm for 20 years.

McMurtry now heads up the R&D operation, working on inventing the next generation of the firm's 3D metal printers and Equator precision measuring probes, alongside fellow Irishman, engineering director Geoff McFarland.

It recently emerged that the firm took part in a blockchain trial using a rules of origin certificate aimed at simplifying the sharing of information such as customs declarations - including the certificates, as well as bills of lading and letters of credit.

Blockchain is a distributed ledger, spread across thousands of computers.

McMurtry, one of Ireland's wealthiest entrepreneurs, began his career working at Rolls-Royce in the UK.

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