Carryduff bath maker dips toe in export market
Co Down bath maker Adamsez is growing its workforce and expanding into new export markets across the globe thanks to a £400,000 investment.
The Carryduff bath and shower producer - which is creating eight jobs - is beginning to sell into major international markets such as India and China, and hopes to grow its exports to at least half of its overall business in the next five years.
Set up in 1885, the firm has now been taken over by directors Ciaran Hunter and James McCormick.
Ciaran said he is trying to bring the firm back to its former glory.
The company now employs 26, with further plans to expand the workforce as demand for its bath and shower products increases.
He said: "We have started a programme to launch in Holland and secured business with a firm in India. We are also doing some in Singapore, the Philippines and China."
And commenting on the current shares crisis in China, he said in "due course" the ongoing slowdown in the economy "will be an issue for us all".
He said: "We are preparing ourselves by reducing our cost base, but we see it as an expansion opportunity. There's a desire for people to buy good quality manufactured products."
But the firm is easing into its global export business.
He said: "We are dipping our toes in, rather than wholesale.
"We are pleased that there is a desire to have quality European products."
"And it's a focus on exporting into the rest of Europe before tackling large-scale sales to Asia and beyond. From our perspective, it's nice to get in, but over the next two or three years we are growing the European market.
"In five years time we would like to see UK and Ireland business to be 50% or less, with the rest exports."
On the issue of expansion, Mr Hunter added the company is looking to grow its staff.
He said the firm "wants to build a skilled workforce taking it from design, to building moulds and right through to manufacturing".
The company was sold to its current owners in a deal worth £750,000 just last year.
It's one of the few bathroom manufacturers which still designs and produces in the UK.
The firm secured its latest investment boost from the Growth Loan Fund, which is managed by WhiteRock Capital Partners.
Adamsez's co-director James McCormick said the additional funding has helped the company to purchase the latest technology to support research and development.
He said: "We have invested in new ovens, moulds, clean rooms and developed new materials including specialist stone resins.
"It will also help support our launch into other export markets while helping us reinforce our UK salesforce."