Revenues at the Galway headquartered Smyths Toys across its Ireland and the UK operations passed the €1bn mark for the first time last year.

In a record year for the business, combined revenues at the Republic of Ireland, UK and Northern Ireland units last year totalled €1.19bn.

New accounts for the business's Irish unit, Smyths Toys Ltd show that its pre-tax profits last year increased by 39% to €4.35m.

This followed revenues increasing by 3.45% from €210.3m to €217.56m.

The business operates 21 stores here showing that the average revenues per store for the year were €10.3m.

The €217.56m revenues across the Republic is in addition to the revenues of €973.7m generated by its UK and Northern Ireland units last year.

The Ireland and UK revenues concern the operation of 21 stores here and 115 stores in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

However, the business also has a substantial store network in continental Europe with 67 in Germany, 17 in Austria and 11 in Switzerland and revenues across the entire group are estimated to exceed €1.6bn for 2021.

The business has not filed 2021 accounts for its European operations as the company that oversees the European business, Smyths Toys EU HQ Unlimited Co, is unlimited and is not required to file accounts.

However, accounts filed for the EU entity for 2020 and 2019 show that it recorded revenues of €475.35m and €457.36m in each of those years.

The group's best performing unit last year was its UK business where revenues at Smyths Toys UK Ltd last year increased by £167.9m or 27% from £620m to £788m.

The firm almost doubled its pre-tax profits last year from £9.5m to £18.11m on the back of bumper sales of best-sellers, Lego, Barbie, Nerf Guns, Paw Patrol and My Little Pony toys.

The business is operated by the 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.

On the operation of the Irish business last year, the directors state that Covid-19 restrictions resulted in store closures from January to May 2021.

"All stores reopened and performed strongly for the remainder of the year," they say.

On the firm's future developments, the directors claim that the company continues to review further appropriate sites to expand the business.

The company recorded post tax profits of €3.7m after paying out corporation tax of €655,000.

Numbers employed across the Irish business last year decreased from 617 to 546 as staff costs reduced from €14.36m to €14.29m.

The profits take account of non-cash depreciation costs of €1.25m.

The company’s lease costs decreased from €5.2m to €4.56m.

Shareholder funds at the end of December last totalled €14m that included accumulated profits of €13.38m

The firm’s cash funds increased from €5.48m to €6.09m.

The directors state that the principal risks and uncertainties facing the business are competitive price pressures, foreign currency fluctuations, together with Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

- reporting Gordon Deegan