Business Person of the Month March 2020: CEO Harry Hughes makes strategic investment for Portwest

Business Person of the Month | Mon 6 Apr | Author – Business & Finance
Pictured: Harry Hughes, CEO of Portwest

Harry Hughes, CEO of Portwest, the workwear company headquartered in County Mayo, has secured a strategic investment in an Italian safety footwear company that will increase annual turnover to over €300 million. He has also been leading a response to the Covid-19 crisis by shoring up the shortages of PPE clothing for frontline workers.

During the last few weeks many medical frontline staff were short of PPE products. We decided to donate our PPE stock to nursing homes, hospitals and public workers to try to alleviate the shortages. Portwest are an industrial safety distributor and not normally a medical supplier. 

The deal with Base Protection, one of Europe’s leading brands of safety footwear, is Portwest’s first investment into safety footwear. The company has factories in Italy and Albania and has an annual turnover of over €50 million.

Portwest, founded by Charles Hughes in 1904, is an industrial safety distributor and specialises in fire-resistant and high-visibility workwear as well as personal protective equipment. The company is one of the fastest-growing workwear companies in the world.

Portwest, a family run business led by Hughes and his two brothers Cathal and Owen, employs over 4,500 people across the globe. They operate global distribution from a network of bases in Ireland, the UK, Poland, Dubai, Australia and the USA as well as manufacturing facilities in Bangladesh, Myanmar and China, and customer support staff in over 120 countries.