Ir­ish Times Busi­ness Per­son of the Month for Oc­to­ber

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS / NEWS -

Harry Hughes, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the fast-grow­ing fam­i­ly­owned work­wear cloth­ing busi­ness Portwest is the re­cip­i­ent of The Ir­ish Times Busi­ness Per­son of the Month Award, in as­so­ci­a­tion with KPMG, for Oc­to­ber.

Mr Hughes, who is the third gen­er­a­tion of the Hughes fam­ily to run the West­port, Co Mayo-based busi­ness that was es­tab­lished in 1904, was last month named the Ir­ish EY En­tre­pre­neur of the Year for 2017.

Portwest also ac­quired its sec­ond busi­ness in Aus­tralia in Oc­to­ber, spend­ing al­most €10 mil­lion to buy a fam­ily busi­ness in Mel­bourne. It ex­pects this deal will more than dou­ble its turnover in Aus­tralia and New Zealand to be­tween €20 and €25 mil­lion.

Work­wear

That would amount to around 10 per cent of the group’s busi­ness and comes just months af­ter it spent €7.5 mil­lion on Prime Mover Work­wear, its first ac­qui­si­tion in Aus­tralia.

The Mayo busi­ness, which Hughes runs with his brothers Cathal and Owen, also an­nounced plans in Oc­to­ber for a new €10 mil­lion head­quar­ters in Mayo. The group, which em­ploys 2,100 peo­ple world­wide - in­clud­ing 150 in West­port - and ex­ports to 110 coun­tries has been grow­ing sales at 30 per cent a year.

The fam­ily also owns the four-star Ho­tel West­port and the West­port House, the 18th-cen­tury man­sion.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION: PAUL RYDING

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