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Brexit blamed for job cuts at Northern Ireland trailer firm SDC

Toomebridge-based SDC Trailers, part of Chinese company CIMC
Toomebridge-based SDC Trailers, part of Chinese company CIMC
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Top Northern Ireland manufacturer SDC Trailers, which has 650 staff here, has announced it’s making redundancies as it blamed Brexit uncertainty for a fall in orders.

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The firm, which is owned by Chinese company CIMC Vehicles, employs around 800 people in total.  It is based in Toomebridge, Co Antrim, and also has a site in Nottinghamshire, England.

In a statement, the company said: “In recent months, it is clear that the uncertainty of Brexit and other economic concerns has resulted in a slowing down of capital purchases from retailers, logistics firms and others.”

It said it had responded by entering a period of consultation with employees “with the unfortunate likely outcome being a number of employees being made redundant”. 

It added: “We are unable to confirm numbers at this stage as the consultation process is still ongoing with our workforce.”

In its latest accounts, the company reported £175m in sales for a full year 2018 — up from £122m for the previous nine month accounting period.  Pre-tax profits were £6m.

It also celebrated its 40th anniversary during 2018 with a £7m expansion at Toomebridge which brought 50 new jobs.

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The report, published in September, added that it did not believe Brexit uncertainty had had a “material impact” on performance at that point.

But it added that it had a contingency plan for a no-deal Brexit, focusing on supply chain management, foreign exchange fluctuations and “the needs of foreign national employees”. 

According to the accounts, it has 693 staff.

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