Profits soar on increased turnover at PCH
REVENUE AND profit at Irish-headquartered PCH rose in 2011 as the company expanded its business. Turnover jumped 72 per cent to $710 million (€545 million) over the year, with gross profit up 46.6 per cent compared with 2010, to $70.7 million.
The firm noted demand for products such as e-readers, smartphones and tablets was strong, contributing to turnover figures. Earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation were $24.5 million – almost 38 per cent higher than the previous year.
“We’re really focused on how we can move the business to the next level. We’ve put quite a lot of investment in, investing for the future, and a big part of that has been people,” said Imelda Hurley, chief financial officer.
PCH, which has significant operations in China, has also seen some growth off the back of its Accelerator programme, which was launched last year.
Under the programme, high-potential hardware start-ups can partner PCH and use the firm’s manufacturing and supply chain capability to get products to market in a much shorter time.
The Accelerator programme announced its fifth company at the Web Summit this week, with Intuitive Automata bringing its plans for a personal healthcare robot to the scheme.
PCH chief executive Liam Casey said there was a big pipeline of firms from all over the world interested in taking part.
“It brings a new dynamic to what we do,” he said. “It really challenges us an organisation.”
Mr Casey said the Accelerator looked at the entrepreneurs behind the ideas to decide if the company would find a place in the programme. The reaction from venture capital firms interested in investing in the start-ups had also been good, he said.
The acquisition of Dublin-based consumer electronics distributor TNS provided further opportunities for growth, PCH said.
He added that the company was not actively planning a flotation, despite talk that it was looking at this option last year. Mr Casey said there were a variety of funding sources open to PCH and it was not ruling anything out. “Money is not what we need at the moment, but we’re always looking,” he said. “We’ll use whatever is best and we’ll always make sure the company is structured properly to take advantage of whatever is needed.”
The firm raised around $30 million in funding in 2011 from both new and existing investors. It also launched PCH China Direct, which helps global brands get a direct link to sell into the Chinese market.
Looking ahead, PCH said it had continued to invest in new technologies and produce development capabilities. It has already begun its expansion in the US with the acquisition of Lime Lab, which Mr Casey said was another element of the company’s provision of an end-to-end supply chain.