Portwest on target to achieve record sales this year

Co Mayo-based company manufactures speciality wear sold in 100 countries worldwide

Harry, Cathal and Owen Hughes of Portwest: the company is continuing to show strong growth, expanding in Australia with two acquisitions this year alone

Harry, Cathal and Owen Hughes of Portwest: the company is continuing to show strong growth, expanding in Australia with two acquisitions this year alone

 

Portwest, the Co Mayo-headquartered speciality clothing company owned by EY Entrepreneur of the Year award winner Harry Hughes and his brothers, is on target for a record year with turnover in excess of €160 million expected in 2017.

Headquartered in Westport and jointly run by Mr Hughes and his brothers Cathal and Owen, the company designs and manufactures personal protective equipment, workwear and outdoor leisurewear that is sold in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Founded in 1904 by Charles Hughes, the firm employs more than 2,000 people globally.

The low-key Hughes brothers have grown revenues at the firm from close to €200,000 in 1979 to €126.9 million for the 12 months ending February 2017, newly filed accounts show.

Turnover rose by 23 per cent from €103 million in 2016 as pretax profits jumped 38 per cent from €12.6 million to €17.4 million.

Top honours

To top off a good year, Mr Hughes scooped top honours in the Best International Entrepreneur category and was named overall winner in the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards in late October. The Hughes brothers also completed a deal to acquire the 455-acre Westport House and estate.

The company is continuing to show strong growth, expanding in Australia with two acquisitions this year alone. It is ultimately targeting sales of €1 billion.

Mr Hughes told The Irish Times that Portwest was looking to achieve growth of at least 20 per cent to 25 per cent.

“To support this growth we have just signed a lease for a new 14,700sq m warehouse in Poland and launched a new 600-page catalogue with 1,300 products,” he said.

The latest accounts show Portwest Limited employed on average 70 people locally last year, up from 64 in 2016. Staff costs rose from €5.4 million to €6.1 million over the same period with directors’ remuneration totalling €846,375, versus €740,663 12 months earlier.

The company had cash and cash equivalents of €17.1 million at the end of the year, up from €6.2 million in 2015.