Irish company Portwest announces $10 million investment to expand its Australian operations

Pictured at the launch of the new Portwest warehouse in Melbourne are (in high-vis jackets L-R): Irish Ambassador to Australia Breandán Ó Caollaí, Minister of State Patrick O’Donovan TD, Portwest CEO Harry Hughes and Enterprise Ireland A/NZ Director David Eccles.

Leading safety clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturers Portwest today announced an investment of A$10 million to expand its Australian operations. Portwest’s latest investment will allow the company to continue their global expansion and increase its Australian workforce over the next four years. The announcement was made today at the official launch of Portwest’s new state-of the-art warehousing facility in Melbourne. This is a significant step in Portwest’s strategic geographical expansion across the globe and similar investments in other markets are anticipated.

Portwest’s investment announcement follows the company’s acquisition of two major Australian companies, Prime Mover in 2017 and Huski Explorer earlier this year. Portwest’s latest investments and acquisitions are expected to double Portwest’s turnover in Australia, further consolidating its position as the fastest growing workwear company in the world.


Harry Hughes, CEO of Portwest says “Our vision for the company is clear, by selling more products, in more countries, through more sales people selling to more customers, Portwest will continue its strong growth. Our sights are firmly fixed on our new markets of Australia and the USA where further investments in warehousing, staff and an outstanding pipeline of new designs and innovations will drive this growth”.

David Eccles, Director for Australia and New Zealand of Enterprise Ireland, the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets, adds: “It is very exciting to see a third-generation run business embrace innovation so well and expand globally and we look forward to the continued growth of Portwest in Australia. While we have always had a high level of interest from Australian companies in Irish product and services, enquiries to Enterprise Ireland to match local companies with Irish manufacturers and developers across all sectors continues to grow at a phenomenal rate.

The family-run business has been based in Westport, Co. Mayo for over a century where the now global company is run by a trio of brothers, Cathal, Harry and Owen Hughes. The Portwest brand is sold in over 130 countries worldwide and turnover is also expected to rise by 25% this year.

About Portwest: Portwest has been designing, developing and manufacturing high quality workwear, high visibility garments, flame resistant clothing, footwear and PPE for well over a hundred years. It was founded in 1904 by Charles Hughes son of a small farmer on the harsh Atlantic coast. He was determined to make better workwear and footwear when he started his first Portwest factory. His core principles of exceptional design quality, value and service still apply in every aspect of the business.


For further information:

Contact: Catherine Hughes

Email: catherine.hughes@enterprise-ireland.com




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