Martin Naughton and family
Engineer Naughton, 78 last Tuesday, is one of Ireland’s greatest philanthropists, donating £18.3m last March towards arts and education, which effectively halved the profits of his Newry-based Glen Electric business. He has already donated millions to the arts and science and gives away half his annual earnings to good causes, earning him six honorary degrees. His Dublin-headquartered Glen Dimplex operation, which owns 29 brands, including Morphy Richards, Stoves, Creda and Belling, is held offshore via Kilkee Investments, so it is difficult to establish its worth.
However, its subsidiary Glen Electric, which accounts for more half of its estimated €1.4bn annual sales, saw its operating profit fall again to €41m in 2015-16 with €424m net assets, leading us to conservatively value it at €1.4bn (£1.19bn). Naughton founded his business in 1973 with seven employees and now has 8,500 worldwide. He has sold 45m heaters in the UK alone, his two-kilowatt model proving the most popular.