Belfast Telegraph

Company snapshot: Copeland Ltd

Copeland finds compressed profits

By John Simpson

Copeland was established in 1996 in a new factory in Cookstown manufacturing compressors which become components in a range of electrical items.

Since 1996 it has been in production in the same location although production levels have varied.

The highest annual production rate of nearly 340,000 units was recorded in 2007. This was followed by a 25% reduction in 2008 and each year since then production has been between 239,000 units in 2010 and 300,000 in 2009. The level of production in the most recent year was 248,000 units.

The fall in production in 2008 affected the level of operating profits which fell from £2.5m in 2007 to a loss of £1.3m in 2008 and an even larger loss in 2009. However, since 2009 the company has returned to profitable working in 2011 with operating profits of £1.4m and a pre-tax profit of a similar level.

In recent years, the company has not paid or declared a dividend to its shareholders. Retained profits (or losses) have been carried into the value of shareholders' funds. Copeland is a wholly owned subsidiary within the American-owned Emerson Electric Company through the UK registered Emerson Holding Company.

A feature of the business of Copeland is that all the production is sold through other subsidiary companies in the Emerson group. In the most recent year, over 95% of output was sold to two German subsidiaries.

The Northern Ireland company report refers to the highly competitive nature of the market place and the commitment by directors to increasing production efficiencies.

While the incoming year is likely to continue to be very challenging, early results are satisfactory and the directors expect a year of good progress.