34% rise in UK profits at Smyths

Sales of Power Rangers and Frozen dolls last year helped family-owned Irish toy-seller Smyths enjoy a 34% increase in pre-tax profits in its British and Northern Irish operations to £4.3m (€5.86m).

New figures show that the Galway-headquartered firm enjoyed massive growth in 2014 in Britain and the North, with sales climbing by 34% to £288m (€391m) on the back of new store openings. Smyths only entered the UK market in 2007 and its business has grown exponentially there ever since.

The firm is Ireland’s largest toy retailer and the extent of its profits and revenues here are not available as the business has unlimited status in Ireland.

However, based on an average annual revenue per store of €6m for the firm’s 64 British and Northern Irish stores, revenues for the 22 Smyth’s outlets in the Republic would be around €132m, projecting the group to be a €523m-a-year business.

The business is led by the four low-profile Smyth brothers, Anthony, Liam, Patrick, and Thomas.

Accounts just filed with Companies House in the UK for Smyths Toys UK Ltd show that the business record pre-tax profits of £3.8m as revenues jumped by 38% from £185.78m to £256m.

According to the directors, they “are very pleased with the increase in profit particularly given the current economic climate and the increasing competition in the marketplace”.

The 38% increase in sales was boosted by the opening of nine new stores in the UK last year and sales growth in its existing stores.

Smyths operates six stores in the North and figures for Smyths Toys NI Ltd show that pre-tax profits increased there from €400,000 to €500,000 as revenues increased by £2.4m to £32m.

Numbers employed by the British and Northern Irish units last year increased by 322 from 1,070 to 1,392, with staff costs increasing by 38% from £13.8m to £19m.

The directors state that they envisage further expansion will occur in the UK market in the coming years through the opening of new stores.

Combined shareholder funds at the British and Northern Irish firms totalled €13.2m. The UK firm spent £13m on operating leases during the year.

In the Republic, Smyth’s operates six stores in Dublin, two in Limerick and Cork, and individual superstore outlets in Navan, Galway, Tralee, Naas, Dundalk, Drogheda, Claremorris, Sligo, Waterford, Athlone, Bray, and Letterkenny.


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