Renishaw CEO billionaire, shares reach record high

MYSTERIOUS MONEY::Cofounder and chief executive David McMurty said the company saw ‘good momentum,’ but declined to comment on his net worth


Tue, Jan 13, 2015 - Page 14

Renishaw PLC cofounder and chief executive officer David McMurty emerged as a billionaire last week after shares in the company reached a record high.

The Gloucestershire, England-based measuring equipment maker, whose tools are used in the production of Apple iPhones, according to analysts, jumped 20 percent last week after the company said in a statement that it expected half-year pretax profit to more than double to £55 million (US$83 million).

“We continue to see good momentum in our business, with a record order book,” McMurtry said in the statement.

The 74-year-old has a US$1.1 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. His 36 percent stake in the measurement and calibration device maker is valued at more than US$900 million. He has collected more than £100 million pounds in dividends since the company became publicly traded in 1983.

Renishaw spokesman Chris Pockett said McMurtry declined to comment on his net worth.

The new figures represent the fourth positive trading update issued by the company since October. The latest profit before tax forecast for the year to June this year is 30 percent higher than the previous estimate issued in November last year. Renishaw’s share price has risen 41 percent since Sept. 30 last year.

“Little detail was provided as to the drivers of this significant increase to guidance,” Barclays PLC analysts Richard Paige and Stephen Jeffrey wrote in letter on Wednesday last week. “We suspect continued strong demand from the electronic market, and smartphones and wearables in particular [to be responsible for the good momentum].”

McMurtry, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2001, founded Renishaw in 1973 with John Deer after inventing a touch-trigger probe that enabled inspection of an instrumentation pipe in the Rolls-Royce Olympus engines on supersonic Concorde aircraft.

The duo branched out into machine tool probes, encoders and healthcare technology. Deer’s 17 percent stake in the company is valued at more than US$400 million.