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New Norfolkline centre creates 60 jobs in Belfast

Published 16/10/2009

Ferry company Norfolkline is establishing a new European Finance Service Centre in Belfast, creating about 60 jobs.

Thirty people are already employed on finance-based activities for the company in Belfast, but that will treble over the next 12-18 months with the centralisation of work for the company for the whole of Europe in one location.

Norfolkline, established in Holland in 1961, operates from more than 30 offices across Europe and offers ferry services on the English Channel, North Sea and Irish Sea, while its logistics division offers tailor-made management solutions, warehousing and both rail and road transport to a variety of industry sectors across Europe.

The new jobs will increase the total company workforce in Belfast to about 450.

Stormont Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster announced the expansion at a Belfast press conference. She said: "The new Norfolkline Finance Service Centre will see existing finance administration functions, currently located in seven European countries, centralised in Belfast."

The company decision validated the strength of the argument that Northern Ireland offered a value location, she said.

The minister added: "It is a major endorsement of the strength of our growing financial services sector, and the exceptional skills base which has developed in recent years."

Invest NI, the region's economic development agency, offered £376,000 support to Norfolkline to secure the jobs which will lead to an additional £1m of wages and salaries annually for the city.

Lars Olsen, Norfolkline group chief financial officer, said: "In reviewing our total cost base, it became evident that Norfolkline had opportunities to be more cost-competitive by, among others, establishing a European Finance Service Centre. Through a very thorough and comprehensive process, Northern Ireland was chosen as it offered the best-value composition to Norfolkline."

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