Revenues at the UK and Northern Ireland operations of Galway-headquartered Smyths Toys increased to a record €737m in 2019, new accounts show.

According to accounts filed by Smyths Toys UK Ltd, the company's pre-tax profits declined by 14% to £12.48m in 2019 as the company expanded further in the UK.

Sales at the UK company increased by 7% from £581m to £622.6m in 2019, while sales at the Northern Ireland arm totaled £45.19m, resulting in combined revenues of £667m (€737m).

The company currently operates 104 stores in England, Scotland and Wales and an additional seven in Northern Ireland, where pre-tax profits for 2019 totaled £904,000.

The accounts confirm that the UK company declared a dividend of £31m in February 2020 and this followed a dividend declared to £9m in 2019.

Combined numbers employed at the two companies increased from 2,642 to 3,001 in 2019.

On the 2019 performance of the UK company, the directors state that they are pleased with the result, particularly given the current economic climate and the competitive market place.

On the impact of Covid-19, the directors state that up to March 2020 the company had been performing strongly.

The directors state that the company's stores were shut during the first Covid-19 lockdown and re-opened last June.

The directors state that, based on company forecasts and a range of different scenarios, they are satisfied that with the current levels of reserves. They said that through utilising available government supports and tight cost control measures for the period of the pandemic, the company can sustain its operations in the current volatile environment.

The firm only entered the UK market in 2007 and its business has grown exponentially there since then.

On the group’s future developments, the directors state that "further expansion will occur in the UK market in the coming years through the opening of new stores".

Underlining its expansion in the UK, the company in 2019 spent £19m on the purchase of property and this followed a spend of £14m under the same heading in 2018.

Staff costs at the UK company increased in 2019 from £39.22m to £44.84m.

The business is led by the four low-profile Smyth brothers; Anthony, Liam, Patrick and Thomas. 

The expansion in 2019 in the UK contributed to the firm’s lease costs increasing from £26.96m to £30.3m while the firm’s non-cash depreciation costs topped £12m.

The firm’s accumulated profits in 2019 increased from £40.8m to £41.2m, while the company’s cash declined from £13m to £5.4m.

The UK firm last year recorded a gross profit of £130.37m and selling and distribution expenses of £117.89m, resulting in a pre-tax profit of £12.4m.

The company recorded a post tax profit of £9.4m after paying corporation tax of £3m.