Brexit backer Dyson moves tech giant's HQ to Singapore

Keiligh Baker's picture

James Dyson, the billionaire Brexit supporter, is moving his head office to Singapore from Britain to be closer to his company's fastest-growing markets.

Dyson's company said the move to Singapore, where it will build its new electric car, was not driven by Britain's looming departure from the European Union or tax implications, with much of its product development remaining in south west England.

Chief Executive Jim Rowan said the manufacturer of air purifiers, hairdryers and cleaner, lauded by politicians as a British success story, was a "global technology company", with 96 percent of its sales outside Britain.

"Our growth rate in Asia has doubled most other places in the world over recent years," he said, adding that more than half of its profit came from the region and the move was aimed at "future proofing" Dyson.

Rowan said the company, which broke through the £1 billion barrier for annual profit in 2018, was moving to be near its manufacturing centres and the markets where it was seeing the biggest demand.

There would be a "negligible difference" to its tax payments as a result, said Rowan, who is already based in Singapore, where the corporate tax rate is 17 percent. It is 19 percent in Britain, but is set to fall to 18 percent in 2020.

He said he would be joined there by other senior executives including the company's chief financial officer, once the paperwork to re-register was complete.

Dyson came out in favour of Brexit days before the 2016 vote, when he said Britain could be about £18.5 billion better off each year if it left the European Union. But with only weeks before Brexit, other manufacturers are warning of huge damage if no divorce deal is struck.

Dyson, which has 5,853 engineers and scientists working on its new electric car and other products, said it was still expanding its research and engineering operation in Britain.

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