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Martin Naughton and family
Household goods
Rank 2017
9
Worth
€1,400m
Rise/fall
€129m

Encouraging the study of science, maths and engineering is a mission for Naughton, 77, one of Ireland’s leading philanthropists. He donated €20m last March via his family’s foundation towards arts and education, concentrating on providing scholarships for degree-level study, and he gives half his annual earnings to the area. His mantra of “innovate or evaporate” has built Glen Dimplex, which he founded 44 years ago in Newry, into the world’s biggest maker of electric heaters. It also owns brands such as Morphy Richards, Creda and Belling and is a global producer of domestic appliances and renewable energy products, employing 10,000 people worldwide. He stepped down as president last year, and his three children, Fiona, Neil and Fergal, sit on the company's board. Meath-based Neil, 47, is deputy chairman and speaks to his father every day, while north Dublin-based Fergal, 41, is operations director. Held offshore via Kilkee Investments, the company is difficult to value. But its subsidiary Glen Electric, accounting for more than half its estimated €1.4bn annual sales, saw its operating profit fall 10% to €41m in the year to March 2016. We value Glen Electric at €1.4bn after debt. We add Naughton’s Co Meath estate, art collection, quarter share in the Merrion hotel, Dublin, and other investments, including a small stake in the €80m Oriel windfarm. In 2015 he sold an office block in Dublin’s IFSC, held with Lochlann Quinn (qv), for €50m.