Dyson’s turnover surpasses stg£1bn milestone – engineering giant targets growth in China

7 Sep 2012

Celebrated inventor James Dyson

UK engineering and technology giant Dyson has reported a turnover of stg£1bn and record profits of stg£306m. The strong results follow success in the US and Japanese markets and the company is now setting its sights on the massive Chinese market.

Dyson’s cordless vacuums, powered by the Dyson digital motor, saw unprecedented growth in 2011. Demand for DC35 Dyson Digital Slim outstripped supply nearly 4:1 in the UK. Its successor DC44 Animal/45, launched in Ireland mid-September, is the most powerful cordless vacuum and is expected to continue the trend towards kicking the cord. Weighing just 2.3 kg, DC44 has a balanced weight distribution, meaning it can clean high, low, awkward and in-between spaces.

The company, founded by inventor James Dyson, now employs nearly 4,000 people worldwide and is now recruiting 300 new people across the business, with a particular emphasis on graduate engineers.

Global growth

In the UK, Dyson sold, on average, a vacuum cleaner every 30 seconds. In 2011, Dyson had five global technology launches and sold more than 85pc of its machines outside the UK, up from 30pc in 2005.

America and Japan led the charge in 2011 with robust growth across floorcare and the Air Multiplier fan range. Dyson is No 1 selling upright vacuum cleaner brand in the US by value, with a 26.6pc value share.

The company plans to launch in China on 1 November.

“We’re ambitious – growing in existing markets, entering new ones,” chief executive Max Conze said.

“For the remainder of 2012, we will launch more technology and establish Dyson in China to tap the vast potential in Asia.”

Born in 1940s Britain, founder and inventor James Dyson originally studied furniture and interior design before taking up engineering. His first inventions in the 1960s and 1970s included the Sea Truck, the Ballbarrow and the Wheelboat.

Frustrated with the diminishing performance of his family’s vacuum cleaner, he became obsessed with the idea of creating a cyclone to replace dust bags. He patented his idea in 1986 and his first vacuum cleaner, the G-Force, won the 1991 International Design Fair prize in Japan.

Last week, an invention to prevent the spread of hospital infections by Paddy Mulcahy, a 21-year-old Limerick student, won the Irish leg of the 2012 James Dyson awards.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years