Co Antrim plant will make 40 trailers every day
A trailer firm in Co Antrim has unveiled a new plant which it says will enable it to start production of a new trailer every 12 minutes.
The new facility at SDC Trailers in Toomebridge represents a £3.5m investment by the company, a spokesman said.
Production from the plant was over 9,400 during 2015, and the company said turnover was expected to reach £189m during 2016.
And the new facility should enable it to roll out 40 trailers a day, the firm said.
It has invested in new equipment including a high-end fibre laser cutter and new pressbrakes for folding steel components.
The Middle East is a growing market for the firm, which will be exhibiting at trade show Transport Solutions Middle East, in Dubai next month.
Managing director Mark Cuskersan said: "As the market leader, it is crucial that SDC looks to the future in order to maintain the high level of customer service we have built up over the years.
"Following the implementation of new technology and processes across our existing facilities, the decision was made to build a new plant that would enable us to fulfil increasing order numbers without compromising on quality and lead time."
And he said the company's order book was looking "very healthy" for the year ahead.
The firm was founded in 1978 and now employs over 900 people in four plants, including three in Northern Ireland and one in Nottinghamshire.
It has plants in Belfast and Newry, as well as Toomebridge.
In its last accounts which were filed for the year ending March 2015, the firm had a turnover of £150.3m, up from £137.8m, and pre-tax profit of £7m - which was nearly double the £3.9m of a year earlier.