Irish-owned Smyths Toys sees UK sales rise to £400m
Sales of Star Wars Lego, Power Rangers and Shopkins last year helped family-owned Irish toy-seller Smyths almost double its pre-tax profits in its UK operations to £10m.
New figures show that the firm, which has seven stores in Northern Ireland, enjoyed strong growth in 2016 in the UK, with sales climbing by 19% from £334m to £396.49m on the back of new store openings.
The revenue increase contributed to pre-tax profits increasing by 69%, going from £5.96m to £10m.
The 19% increase in revenues for Smyths Toys UK Ltd in the 12 months to the end of December last followed sales growth of 30% in 2015. It entered the UK market in 2007 and its business has grown exponentially since then.
The firm is Ireland's largest toy retailer and the extent of its profits and revenues here is 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 stores there last year. The company now operates 79 stores in England, Scotland and Wales with an additional 21 stores in the Republic.
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 marketplace.
The directors stated that the revenue rise 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.
The directors said that it is envisaged that further expansion will occur in the UK market in the coming years through the opening of new stores.
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 company's accumulated profits last year increased from £11.9m to £20.7m, while the company's cash increased from £4.5m to £9.3m.