Dyson 2018 profit breaks $1B, to move global HQ to Singapore

Fuelled by "soaring demand" across Asia, the UK consumer electronic manufacturer sees its profits climb 33 percent to cross £1.1 billion (US$1.42 billion) for the first time last year and will move its global base to Singapore to better support its manufacturing operations.

Dyson has reported a 33 percent climb in profits for 2018, breaking the billion dollar mark for the first time, where it says "soaring demand" for its products in Asia has driven its technology investments. It also is planning to move its global headquarters to Singapore as it looks to better support the company's manufacturing operations, which now reside primarily in this region, and importance of the region to its business.

The UK consumer electronic manufacturer clocked a record profit of £1.1 billion (US$1.42 billion) last year, on a 28 percent revenue growth that took its turnover to £4.4 billion (US$5.67 billion). Noting that half of its headcount comprised engineers and scientists, Dyson CEO Jim Rowan said in a statement Wednesday the company had made its "largest investment" in the UK as well as pushed its technology investments across the globe, particularly in Singapore. 

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This, Rowan noted, was in response to growing demand for its products in Asia. The company's international research and development team has 5,853 engineers and scientists, and its technology investments includes energy storage, robotics, machine learning, and motors. 

Apart from its Singapore Technology Centre, which would be doubling in size this year, Dyson said its Malaysia Design Centre also would enter its next phase of development. The company also operates a Philippine Advanced Manufacturing Centre and R&D activities in China. 

It further noted that the region now was home to "an increasing majority" of its customers and all its manufacturing operations. This transition towards the region had been playing out for some time and would more quickly bring its electric vehicles to market, it said.

Dyson revealed that an increasing proportion of its executive team would be based in Singapore, where they would be able to make decisions quickly and efficiently. "This does not change any of our investment and recruitment plans. However, we are now at a point where Dyson's corporate head office will relocate there to reflect the increasing importance of Asia to Dyson's business," the company said.

It announced plans last October to build a manufacturing plant in Singapore dedicated to producing electric vehicles, marking the first of such facilities for the UK company. Slated to complete in 2020, the two-storey advanced automotive manufacturing plant was part of Dyson's £2.5 billion (US$3.25 billion) global investment in new technology. 

Former president of Infiniti Motor, Roland Krueger, will join Dyson in April, based out of Singapore, to lead the company's automotive business and its targeted 2020 launch

Its CFO Jorn Jensen and chief legal officer Martin Bowen also will be making the move to the city-state. CEO Jim Rowan told UK media that the move was not motivated by Brexit or tax, but was about future-proofing the company's business. He said there were significant revenue opportunities in Singapore and the region.

Rowan, as quoted in a BBC report, said: "We have seen an acceleration of opportunities to grow the company from a revenue perspective in Asia. We have always had a revenue stream there and will be putting up our best efforts as well as keeping an eye on investments." 

"The tax difference [between being based in Singapore and the UK] is negligible for us," he noted, adding that the company would be registered in Singapore. The relocation was reported to take place over the "coming months". 

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