Smiles all round as lis­burn firm an­nounces ex­pan­sion

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - Front Page - BY EMMA DEIGHAN

A NORTH­ERN Ire­land firm which spe­cialises in mak­ing con­veyor belts has an­nounced a 20% growth in turnover.

And Smi­ley Mon­roe, based in Lis­burn, re­vealed plans to open a base in the US to cap­i­talise on the po­ten­tial for growth in the mar­ket.

It’s also adding new jobs in Lis­burn, bring­ing its work­force to around 148.

Dur­ing a visit from Lis­burn and Castlereagh City Coun­cil, the firm said turnover had risen from £15.7m in 2016 to £19m dur­ing 2017.

Ac­cord­ing to its re­sults for 2016, the com­pany drew £10.6m of its sales from the UK, £1.37m from the Repub­lic of Ire­land, and £3.7m from over­seas.

Al­lan Ewart of Lis­burn and Castlereagh City Coun­cil’s de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee said the firm had achieved “sig­nif­i­cant growth, not only in the North­ern Ire­land mar­ket, but fur­ther afield in North Amer­ica and right across the world”.

“They are a great ex­am­ple of world­class man­u­fac­tur­ing on our doorstep.”

A NORTH­ERN Ire­land con­veyor belt maker has an­nounced its big­gest growth in al­most 40 years with a 20% in­crease in turnover.

Lis­burn-based Smi­ley Mon­roe, which sup­plies rub­ber parts to var­i­ous sec­tors in­clud­ing con­struc­tion and re­cy­cling, also an­nounced that it will ex­pand the busi­ness to in­clude a base in North Amer­ica.

It’s creat­ing 12 new jobs here to add to its work­force of 149.

The com­pany, which al­ready has fac­to­ries in Lis­sue In­dus­trial Es­tate and In­dia and ex­ports to over 42 coun­tries, said that its turnover went from £16m in 2016 to £19m this year.

Smi­ley Mon­roe mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor Tim Mon­roe said: “We are in the mid­dle of a sig­nif­i­cant growth pe­riod and it is down to many fac­tors in­clud­ing the am­bi­tion and drive of the busi­ness, the up­turn in the orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing mar­ket and the in­vest­ment that we are in­ject­ing into the busi­ness. We are ac­tively seek­ing new mar­kets through global trade fairs and this is pay­ing div­i­dends. We al­ready have a man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity in In­dia and we have plans to have a per­ma­nent pres­ence in North Amer­ica, where the mar­ket is set to soar.”

Mr Mon­roe also said that the com­pany’s Lis­sue fac­tory in­creased its wa­ter jet-cut­ting busi­ness and as a re­sult it will be grow­ing its work­force.

“We cur­rently have 149 em- ploy­ees and we are re­cruit­ing for a to­tal of 12 newly cre­ated po­si­tions as well as re­cruit­ing for six re­place­ment po­si­tions,” he said.

A del­e­ga­tion from Lis­burn and Castlereagh City Coun­cil vis­ited Smi­ley Mon­roe’s premises af­ter the an­nounce­ment.

Al­lan Ewart, chair­man of the coun­cil’s de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee, said: “It is very in­spir­ing to learn about lo­cal busi­nesses such as Smi­ley Mon­roe and their re­mark­able suc­cess.

“They have achieved sig­nif­i­cant growth not only in the North­ern Ire­land mar­ket but fur­ther afield in North Amer­ica and right across the world, ex­port­ing to a to­tal of 42 coun­tries. With this growth comes new jobs, new train­ing and in­vest­ment in their em­ploy­ees and new tech­nol­ogy.

“This is some­thing they do so well. I look for­ward to watch­ing with in­ter­est their fu­ture growth in both the do­mes­tic and ex­port mar­kets. They are a great ex­am­ple of world-class man­u­fac­tur­ing on our doorstep and the coun­cil will sup­port them in any way we can.”

From left: Smi­ley Mon­roe mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor Tim Mon­roe, HR and peo­ple de­vel­op­ment spe­cial­ist Jayne Peters, the com­pany’s head of op­er­a­tions Wes­ley Mca­vory and Al­lan Ewart of Lis­burn and Castlereagh City Coun­cil

Al­lan Ewart of Lis­burn and Castlereagh Coun­cil with the firm’s Tim Mon­roe

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