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BA Components into Belfast Telegraph Top 100 companies as expansion continues

By John Mulgrew

Published 10/05/2016

From left, Kieran and Brian McCracken of Cookstown-based BA Components
From left, Kieran and Brian McCracken of Cookstown-based BA Components

A Co Tyrone kitchen and bedroom door maker - a newcomer to the 2016 Belfast Telegraph 100 Companies in association with Arthur Cox - says it hopes to expand its business by 15% this year.

BA Components in Cookstown celebrated its 25th anniversary last year.

The firm, which is run by twins Brian and Kieran McCracken, also has a site in Doncaster, and is adding another manufacturing base in Rotherham.

It supplies fittings, such as kitchen and bathroom doors, to the trade across the UK, Europe and as far afield as Australia.

The company has also just entered the Belfast Telegraph Top 100 Companies list this year, coming in at number 99. It has continued to grow, now posting pre-tax profits of £2.3m. Managing director Brian McCracken (49) says the business has grown 15% in the last year, and given the scale of the firm's exports, he's firmly behind the UK remaining part of the EU.

"We focus on all markets, and are in quite a few counties, and are growing and growing," he said.

"We have a good, wide and diverse product range, and a wide diverse market area, from small customers to larger, big companies, which have more volume and buying power.

"Great Britain is the biggest market, and Ireland is about 3%. We also sell further afield to Australia, New Zealand and Europe."

BA Components supplies around 1,000 small kitchen dealers in the UK alone, as well as producing ranges for bigger companies under their own brands.

But Mr McCracken said a Brexit would make business more complicated. "Brexit puts up more hurdles and pushes potential customers away. It just ties you up and basically, a company wanting products wants the best price, in the easiest way and of the best quality.

"I don't think we are strong enough on our own. We are not big enough, and we don't have enough clout."

The company has also just taken on ClicBox, a company in Belgium which produces kitchen cabinets which fit without screws.

Mr McCracken said he also hopes to grow his workforce from 280 staff to around 300 by the end of next year.

"We will take on another 25 people within this year, which ends in March. Our (growth) target is 15% this year.

"There have been a lot of investments, including £6m with ClicBox, as well as £3m in our Cookstown plant."

And the company weathered the effects of the recession, and took on additional sales staff in order to help boost lost business.

"It was a big shock to everyone, our production went down as did everyone's. We brought on more salespeople. If you need more sales, you need more sales people.

"We had to make big changes, and reduce our lead time from three weeks to seven days, getting the product out quicker - we had to react, readjust and up our game in marketing."

Mr McCracken is currently managing director, while co-owner and twin Kieran is involved in production and machinery.

Belfast Telegraph

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