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International sales wins Northern Ireland firms a place on top exporters list

By Margaret Canning

Speedy growth in exports have led to two Northern Ireland firms winning a place in a Sunday Times league table of international sales prowess.

The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table ranks the UK's mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales.

Now Co Down construction firm Mac is listed for its international sales - which reached £56.6m in 2016.

And Co Tyrone firm CDE Global is also on the list, after exports of its waste and materials processing equipment hit £31m last year.

Mac, which is at number 64 in the 200-strong chart, is included for the first time.

Its revenues have grown as it's benefited from carrying out construction and fit-out work for major US firms seeking a presence in Ireland.

Its client list includes Abbvie, IBM, 3 Ireland, HubSpot, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle and Intel.

And in an interview last year, owner Paul McKenna told Business Telegraph that it was not fearful of the consequences of Brexit and said leaving the EU could present a "fantastic opportunity".

CDE Global sells its waste and materials processing to clients in 70 countries from a base in Cookstown.

Its export sales of £31m last year have earned it a place at number 171.

Amanda Murphy, UK head of commercial banking at HSBC, said: "This year's Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 is testament to the exciting opportunities available to ambitious Northern Irish businesses with appetite to grow their goods and services abroad.

"We work very closely with our business customers to help them achieve their goals, so it makes me immensely proud to see so many of them succeed."

And with Brexit negotiations about to begin following the general election, Europe emerges as the most important sales market for the list, with 85% of companies exporting to the continent.

North America is the next most important market, and is a market for 112 companies, while 75 of the firms of the list sell to Asia.

London is the most popular location for company headquarters with 74, followed by the southeast of England, (32) and the northwest (27). Of the remainder, 20 companies are based in the Midlands, 16 in the southwest, 12 in the northeast and Yorkshire, nine in Scotland, four in the east and four in Wales. Northern Ireland has the lowest tally.

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