Technology firm Dyson has announced plans to move its corporate headquarters to Singapore, where it intends to build its new range of electric vehicles.
The news came as the company announced that profits had broken the £1bn barrier – up 33 percent to £1.1bn for 2018, with turnover increasing 28 percent to £4.4bn.
Dyson, which has been based at Malmesbury since 1991, stressed that British jobs would not be affected by the move, save the relocation of two senior executives to the city state.
The decision was made by company founder and owner Sir James Dyson, but the job of dropping the bombshell was given to chief executive Jim Rowan, who said: ""The move is nothing to do with Brexit or tax, it's about making sure we are future proofed.
"The tax difference is negligible for us, we are taxed all over the world and we will continue to pay tax in the UK.
"We will continue to invest in the UK, in Malmesbury, in Bristol and London."
In a statement, the firm added: "An increasing majority of Dyson's customers and all of our manufacturing operations are now in Asia. This shift has been occurring for some time and will quicken as Dyson brings its electric vehicle to market.
"We are now at a point where Dyson's corporate head office will relocate there to reflect the increasing importance of Asia to Dyson's business."
Dyson's £200m investment at its Hullavington Airfield campus will be unaffected by the move, said the firm, as will the £44m refurbishment of its Malmesbury base and its £31m investment in young engineers through its undergraduate programme.
The company bought the 517-acre disused airfield two years ago and has already renovated two hangars.
Dyson’s announcement comes shortly after Singapore and the EU agreed a free trade agreement.