Smyths Toys posts record profits of £18.11m at UK unit in 2021

Bumper sales of Lego, Barbie, Nerf, Paw Patrol and My Little Pony power UK revenues up 27% to £788m

The UK business of Galway-headquartered retail toy giant Smyths Toys last year enjoyed record pretax profits of £18.11 million (€20.77 million).

New accounts filed by Smyths Toys UK Ltd with Companies House show the business almost doubled its pretax profits last year from £9.5 million in 2020.

Revenues surged 27 per cent to a record £788 million, with bumper sales of best-sellers Lego, Barbie, Nerf guns, Paw Patrol and My Little Pony toys.

Separate accounts for Smyths Toys NI Ltd show that pretax profits at the Northern Ireland unit increased 59 per cent to £1 million last year as revenues rose 9 per cent to £50.7 million.


The businesses are operated by the low-profile Smyth family from Co Mayo, and three members sit on the board: Anthony Smyth, Liam Smyth and Patrick Smyth. Thomas Smyth resigned as a director on November 1st, 2021.

The directors said they were pleased with the results, particularly given the economic climate, the competitive marketplace and the outbreak of Covid-19.

The UK business recorded its best-ever performance despite its “bricks and mortar” stores being shut from January to April last year due to UK Government Covid-19 restrictions. In their report, the directors state that “all stores fully reopened and performed strongly for the remainder of the year”.

The directors envisage further expansion in the UK market in the coming years through the opening of new stores.

The company recorded post-tax profits of £13.18 million after paying out corporation tax of £4.93 million.

Numbers employed across the UK business last year increased from 2,901 to 2,979 and staff costs rose from £42.66 million to £45.49 million.

The UK company last year paid no dividend after paying out a dividend of £31 million in 2020. Smyths Toys operates 108 stores in England, Scotland and Wales, with another seven in Northern Ireland.

In total, the group operates 231 stores across its entire network in the UK, Ireland and continental Europe. Along with the 115 stores in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Smyths Toys operates 21 in the Republic of Ireland, 67 in Germany, 17 in Austria and 11 in Switzerland.

The profits for the UK operation take account of non-cash depreciation costs of £13.35 million.

The company’s lease costs increased from £27.96 million to £33.2 million.

Shareholder funds at the end of December last totalled £33.46 million, which included accumulated profits of £30.46 million. The UK firm’s cash funds increased from £4.97 million to £9.5 million.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times