Revenue at UK arm of Smyths toy stores tops €1bn for the first time

Number of stores in chain now at 283 across UK, Ireland and Europe following acquisition of PicWic Toys in France in 2022

Revenues at the UK arm of Smyths toy stores passed the €1 billion mark for the first time last year.

In a record sales year for Smyths Toys UK Ltd, revenues surged by 16 per cent or £122.78 million (€141.46 million) to £910.78 million (€1.05 billion).

The business operates Smyths stores across England, Scotland and Wales and pretax profits increased by 8 per cent from £18.11 million to £19.49 million.

In a note with the accounts the directors said that the increase was due to a rise in footfall in the stores as customers returned following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions. The addition of five new stores in 2022 also contributed.


The accounts said that the company’s gross margin increased from 16 per cent in 2021 to 18 per cent in 2022, mainly due to management’s focus on costs.

The firm’s buoyant performance resulted in a dividend of £30 million.

The directors said that they are particularly pleased with the results given the current economic climate and the competitive marketplace.

Revenues were made up of £860.92 million in retail sales and £49.86 million in services to group companies.

Numbers employed by Smyths Toys UK Ltd increased by 326 from 2,979 to 3,305.

The note said that further expansion will occur in the UK market in the coming years with the opening of new stores.

The number of Smyths stores in England, Scotland and Wales totals 113. Its separate Northern Ireland arm operates seven stores and recorded revenues of £56.19 million last year and pretax profits of £1.1 million.

The size of the overall business across the UK, Ireland and Europe has increased sharply since last year, with the expansion into France following the acquisition of PicWic Toys in July 2022.

Smyths operates 41 stores in France, bringing the total number of shops to 283.

The business is operated by the Smyth family from Mayo. Liam Smyth. a director of the company, died aged 60 in July. Along with his brothers, the Claremorris native helped turn Smyths in to a multinational retail chain.

Smyths Toys UK Ltd recorded post-tax profits of £15.22 million after paying out corporation tax of £4.26 million.

Staff costs last year increased from £45.49 million to £57.85 million.

The profits take account of non-cash depreciation costs of £15.37 million. The company’s lease costs increased from £33.2 million to £35.02 million.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times