Toy retailer Smyths records £2.7m UK pretax profit

Retailer’s British and Northern Irish arms increase revenue by 47 per cent


Sales of Furbies, Monopoly Millionaire and learning tablets last year helped the British and Northern Irish arms of family-owned Irish toy-seller Smyths record combined pretax profits of £2.7 million (€3.2 million).

The Galway-headquartered business is Ireland’s largest toy retailer and recorded the profit after revenue at the two units increased by 47 per cent from £123.8 million to £181.8 million (€213.2 million) in the 12 months to the end of December last.

However, the prior period when the £123.8 million revenue was recorded was for a nine-month period.

Accounts just filed with Companies House in the UK for Smyths Toys UK Ltd and Smyths Toys NI Ltd show that pretax profits last year declined by £368,750 or 12 per cent from £3.09 million to £2.72 million.

However, the chief factor behind the drop was a £577,503 loss on the sale of an asset by the British unit. The combined profit takes account of combined non-cash depreciation costs of £3.4 million last year.

The group operates 69 stores in total: 41 in Britain, 22 in the Republic and six in Northern Ireland.

The business, led by the four low-profile Smyth brothers, Anthony, Liam, Patrick and Thomas, is one of Ireland’s most successful retail businesses.

The firm only entered the British market in 2007 and its business has grown exponentially in Britain since, now accounting for an estimated 59 per cent of the firm’s revenues after 41 store openings made up of 35 in England, three in Scotland and three in Wales.

The accounts for the British unit show that it incurred £20 million in capital expenditure in 2011-2012 funding the firm’s expansion there. Revenues at the British unit last year increased by 56 per cent from £97.3 million to £152.4 million.

The profits and revenues for Smyth’s Irish business are not publicly known as the Galway-based unit has unlimited status here and is not required to file annual accounts to the Companies Office.

The firm did file annual accounts up to 2007. However, the firm changed its status to unlimited that year after its 2006 accounts made front-page news that year revealing that the four Smyth brothers received management fees of €14 million.

Revenues last year of €29.3 million at the firm’s six stores in the North or £4.88 million per store provide for estimated pro rata revenues of £337.2 million across its 69-strong store network.

In the Republic, Smyths operates six stores in Dublin, two in Limerick and Cork and individual superstore outlets in Navan, Galway, Tralee, Naas, Dundalk, Drogheda, Claremorris, Sligo, Waterford, Athlone, Bray and Letterkenny.