Northern Ireland trailer firm lands huge deal in Saudi Arabia
A trailer that recently landed a £480,000 deal in the Middle East has said it could be the first of many in the region.
Toome-based SDC Trailers is to supply its products to the Kanoo Group in Saudi Arabia.
SDC has landed a growing number of export orders over the last decade, and opened an office in Dubai in 2015.
Chief executive Mark Cuskeran said: "We're delighted to have won this significant contract with the Kanoo Group as we continue to build customer relationships and develop our presence in the Middle East.
"This has been a momentous year for SDC, following the company's acquisition by CIMC Vehicles - the world's largest trailer manufacturer with a presence in continental Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, Australia and Africa.
"I am continuing our focus on product innovation and bespoke trailer manufacturing, and SDC will have further success in the export market."
SDC was bought by CIMC Vehicles earlier this year. The deal was for Retlan Manufacturing Limited, which included SDC.
The existing management team will remain in their current posts, the company has confirmed.
Economy Minister Simon Hamilton, who is visiting the Middle East this week, said: "This contract is the result of SDC's dynamic approach to innovation and exporting.
"SDC has availed of a range of Invest NI advice and support to help it identify and develop export markets.
"In 2010, SDC secured a partnership with a local company in Saudi Arabia following a trade mission in the region and more recently Invest NI's trade advisory service and agency office in Jeddah enabled them to identify new customers and secure a £480,000 contract with the prestigious Kanoo Group."
SDC saw its profits rise to more than £150m in its last set of accounts. Pre-tax profits at the firm were also up, rising to £7m for the year to March 2015.
In August, it secured a £6.8m deal with the road haulage giant Eddie Stobart.
SDC Trailers will supply 240 trailers to the company.
The deal will include 50 gooseneck skeletal trailers and 25 skeletal trailers for Eddie Stobart's port logistics.
It was the latest order from the haulage firm, which ordered 650 trailers from SDC earlier this year.
SDC employs more than 900 staff across its sites here and in Nottinghamshire.
The business has plants in Belfast and Newry, as well as its headquarters in Toomebridge.