Belfast Telegraph

Company Report

Wrights Group

By John Simpson

The Wrights Group consolidates several separate companies based in Ballymena and controlled by the Wright family. The larger company assembles and manufactures passenger buses for national and international buyers. Nine smaller subsidiary companies specialise in the manufacture of composite components or other support relationships.

In the year to December 2015 the group reports it continued on its planned profitable and responsible growth path with an increase of 16% in turnover. The net profit margin at 4.2% was described as healthy.

The group emphasises an expanding research and development capacity with particular emphasis on reducing the environmental impact of its vehicles, which helps the group prepare for an increasing market demand for low emission vehicles. Looking ahead to the changing market in 2016, there is noted to be some uncertainties related to the Bus Services Bill in the UK. This points to a concern about possible lower demand throughout this year. The intention is for the group to further invest in manufacturing processes, after sales support and improved reliability in engineering functions.

The balance sheet value of the combined businesses has reached nearly £35m. As an indication of the strength of the balance sheet the group draws attention to the holding of net cash balances of over £12m, demonstrating its financially robust position. Employment has been growing year by year and in 2015 averaged 1,741 people up from 1,552 a year earlier and up from only 1,200 three years ago.

Belfast Telegraph