Belfast Telegraph

Co Antrim kitchen furniture builder looking to expand after profits climb by 30% to reach £12.6m

By Margaret Canning

A Co Antrim kitchen and furniture manufacturer that supplies homes, hotels and student developments has boosted sales by nearly 30% to £12.6m.

Woodland Kitchens NI, which was founded in 1996, produces kitchen, bedroom and bathroom furniture from its 100,000 sq ft facility in Rasharkin.

In 2012, it provided kitchen and wardrobes used in Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises.

Recent projects include fitting out bedrooms and bathrooms at the Marlin Aparthotel in Waterloo, London, and the Adagio Aparthotel in Edinburgh.

The company's chief executive vowed to stick by its rural location as the firm reported revenue of £12.6m, compared to £9.8m previously, in the year to the end of February 2017.

It also remarked that the economy was returning to stability.

Pre-tax profits were up by 33% from £522,960 to £690,804, while employment also grew by over 10%, from 99 to 111.

In a strategic report accompanying the results, Woodland Kitchens said it had enjoyed a strong trading performance and added it was in a "sound financial position" at the year-end.

The company was founded by entrepreneur Brian McCloskey when he was 34.

He told this newspaper: "We embarked on our three-year growth plan in 2016 and are delighted that year one (has gone) as expected.

"This has not happened by accident. We have worked hard to research the market, and identified those sectors that demonstrate the best opportunity for growth for our business.

"To this end, we have shaped our offering and strive to be the best supplier that we can be and add value to our customers' business."

He said the company aimed to carefully spread any trading risk by avoiding being reliant on any one sector.

"Our location, some may see it as rural, but our workforce are committed and are ambitious to achieve results in all external markets to ensure our business remains a strong employer in this community," Mr McCloskey added.

The strategic report also said the company was looking for further expansion in the future.

"The company is committed to the long-term creation of shareholder value by increasing its market share in the UK kitchen and bathroom manufacturing market," it explained.

"The economic environment continues to evolve and is making a return to relative stability and certainty. Overall, in the coming year the company aims to increase revenue, operating profits and the number of customers it reaches.

"It will continue to develop relations with suppliers and customers, generate new business where possible and increase retention levels while remaining competitive."

However, it said that there were risks facing the business. "The Northern Ireland, UK and European manufacturing industries are highly competitive, particularly in the production of furniture components, where our business is focused," it added.

In Northern Ireland alone, there are two other major manufacturers of kitchen components and furniture - doors specialist O&S Holdings in Dungannon, and BA Components in Cookstown. BA Components reported pre-tax profits of £3.4m in its last results, while O&S Holdings had pre-tax profits of £6m in 2015.

Last year O&S Holdings, which was founded by Peter O'Donnell, was sold to US private equity investor Sun European Partners.

BA Kitchen Components was set up by twins Brian and Kieran McCracken.

Belfast Telegraph

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