Co Antrim plastic sprayer reports £1.9m slump in annual turnover
Turnover has fallen by around 20% to £7.6m at a Co Antrim company which is the UK's only manufacturer of plastic trigger sprayers.
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Canyon Europe Ltd in Newtownabbey, which makes sprayers for use in everything from animal health to the pharmaceutical sector, saw turnover fall from £9.5m to £7.6m.
Pre-tax profit at the firm, which exports to around 50 markets, dropped from £357,000 to £68,000. The workforce also fell during the year to December 31, 2014 from 98 to 88.
Parent company Canyon Corporation is based in Japan, and Newtownabbey is one of just two global manufacturing sites - along with Vietnam.
The business became Northern Ireland's first Japanese inward investor when it set up here in 1987.
In a strategic report, the directors of the firm said that the company's performance and results for the year were "in line with expectations".
"Significant work has been performed to date to successfully secure new customers and adapt working processes to align to the logistics of the manufacture of smaller and more complex orders," the report said.
Canyon said it expected to perform well in 2015 despite a competitive environment. "Performance in the sector is affected by general economic conditions and specific sectoral factors such as market trends and exchange rates," it was reported.
Foreign exchange fluctuations posed risk to the company - "principally on sales in euros, and on borrowings from the parent company denominated in Japanese yen".
The report also pays tribute to Canyon Corporation founder Tetsuya Tada, who died in May this year.
The company's sprayers have features such as upside down valves, child-resistant closures and foaming options.
A centre of excellence team in Newtownabbey manufactures the sprayers using computer-aided design (CAD) technology and prototype moulding.
Earlier this year the Japanese parent company moved production of its professional cleaning sprayers - the CHS 3A and the CHS 5A - from Japan to Newtownabbey. It received money from Invest NI for its investment in the machinery necessary for production of the sprayers.
Speaking at the time, Canyon Europe managing director Hugh Ross said that the move was "a real game-changer for our customers, the market and for the company and will be the catalyst for further growth in new markets".
Canyon Europe is a member of the Northern Ireland Polymers Association (NIPA).
NIPA this week announced it will be working with employers in polymers and construction industries to develop innovation skills.