Canvas company nets major Olympic and Antarctic contracts
A Maghera company has proved that growing confidence among consumers has spread to some sectors of the Northern Ireland economy.
Cunningham Covers from the Co Londonderry town has revealed it has secured over half-a-million pounds worth of export contracts to Africa and the Middle East in the last few months as well as bagging a couple of high-profile deals.
The company, which makes textiles and sells covers and canopies, provided canvas tarpaulins for use during The Coldest Journey, a six-month expedition to cross the Antarctic led by Sir Ranulph Fiennes (below), and provided the covers for the beach volleyball courts at the London 2012 Olympics.
A renewed focus on export markets by establishing a web presence and improving its marketing strategy was helped by £50,000 of Invest NI funding with assistance from the European Regional Development Fund.
“Last year we focused heavily on developing our marketing and IT capabilities so that we could capitalise on new business opportunities across a range of markets including Africa and the Middle East,” David Cunningham, General Manager of Cunningham Covers, said.
“Implementing a greater strategic approach to our business development plans was essential to the future growth of our company and this process was made very straightforward with support from Invest NI.
“We are extremely encouraged by our export sales figures over last year and aim to broaden our customer and market profiles throughout the coming months.”
Kevin McCann, Invest NI's Director of Advanced Engineering and Construction, said: “Cunningham Covers is an established family firm which has demonstrated a clear drive to remain innovative and successful in export markets.”
The business operates in a niche market and has diversified its product offering in recent years to accommodate the vast requirements of its customers.
“Cunningham Covers is continuing to be proactive in identifying new development opportunities and the firm's focus on increasing export sales is now paying dividends as it lays firm foundations for further growth.”