Record breaking 2014 for Dyson as Asian consumers go crazy for cordless

Emma Haslett
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Dyson is aiming to launch 100 new products in the next four years

They say nature abhors a vacuum - but consumers don't, it turns out, after Dyson unveiled a 13 per cent jump in profits.

The figures

Turover rose to £1.4bn in 2014, with profits rising 13 per cent - or 21 per cent if you strip out the effect of the strong pound.

Investment in research and development rose 40 per cent, while it also announced a £1.5bn investment in its "global technology pipeline" - part of which includes a £200m high-tech manufacturing facility in Singapore.

The company said 90 per cent of its products are now sold outside the UK.

Why it's interesting

Like many British manufacturers, Dyson has expanded rapidly into international markets - and like others, the strong pound took a chunk out of its profits.

Dyson has focused much of its research on cordless technology, demand for which grew 68 per cent last year. Indeed, cordless cleaners now outsell traditional vacuums by a factor of three in Japan, and four in China.

The company has previously said it's aiming to have 100 different products on the shelves in the next four years. Today it said half of its 2,500-strong workforce is working in research and development.

James Dyson himself has previously complained about the difficulty the company has finding engineers in the UK. Earlier this year he attacked the government on its immigration policies, saying the "home-grown postgraduate population is pitifully thin".

What Dyson said

We spent an additional 40 per cent on research and development last year and now spend £3m a week as we develop expertise in entirely new areas. We are working on the core technology which will deliver the next leap in technology. For that we need the world’s best engineers whether at our Malmesbury research laboratories or in the universities we are partnered with. Our technology is our future.

In short

The company has rapidly expanded abroad - the only challenges are the strong pound and that pesky skills gap.

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