Business

Business is sparkling for Argento boss Boyle as water park is his latest gem

The new aqua park at Carryduff will open to the public over the May Bank Holiday weekend, creating 30 jobs in the process
Gary McDonald Business Editor

IT'S been a sparkling last trading year for the company behind the Argento jewellery chain in Northern Ireland, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

Its parent company Denvir Holdings, whose directors are Peter Boyle and his wife Ciara, saw sales shoot up by more than £8 million in the year to June, with turnover rising from £43.8m to £52.1m. Gross profit in the year increased from £23.5m to £27.3m, with operating profit up to £7.8m.

Argento Contemporary Jewellery Ltd makes up the largest part of the Denvir Group, and its sales lifted from £18.4m to £19.2m, while operating profit rose to £1.76m.

The group as a whole has a staff of 771, according to the directors' report to Companies House, with 396 employed at Argento, which started life as a modest market stall run by Boyle more than 20 years ago.

Argento now has more than 50 stores UK-wide (one of its most recent opened at the Trafford Centre in Manchester) while its online operation extends into 90 countries, with China, Hong Kong and Japan among its biggest markets.

It stocks some of the most popular jewellery brands in the world, including the perennially popular Pandora, Olivia Burton and Nomination ranges.

The results come as Boyle, an avid water-ski enthusiast, continues his diversification from gems to jet skis, with international water sports mecca he is developing at Knockbracken Reservoir near Carryduff due to open to the public on May Bank Holiday weekend, employing 30 people in the process.

Boyle bought the disused reservoir several years ago and has spent more than £1 million transforming it into a sports facility complete with aqua park, water polo park, cable park, boathouse and jetty, running tracks and glamping site.

The centre will be operated by Cable & Wake (www.cableandwake.com), a local water sports company managed by Samantha Crawford from Hillsborough.

She said: "The development is a significant investment in Co Down and will be a major tourist attraction for Northern Ireland. The new aqua park is like nothing you'll have ever see in Ireland, a real landmark venue."

The site has already been confirmed as host for the the All Ireland Cable Wakeboard Championships on June 23/24, which will attract hundreds of competitors and visitors to the park.

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