Belfast Telegraph

Jobs boost at Co Armagh fit-out firm, Deluxe Group

By Margaret Canning

A fit-out company in Co Armagh is hoping to create around 20 new jobs as it enjoys continued success in the export market.

Deluxe Group said it had even recruited six staff who were left jobless by the collapse of rival Mivan in Antrim last month.

The Portadown firm, which has around 40 full-time staff, has been focusing on overseas business, including high-end residential schemes such as One Tower Bridge in London and an energy science centre in Saudi Arabia.

Deluxe Group has also completed fit-out work at Disneyland Paris, a commercial relationship which began when it worked at the theme park with Mivan in the 1990s. It has also worked on shop fit-outs for clients including House of Fraser and Paul Smith.

Closer to home, it has carried out work at Queen's David Kerr Building in Stranmillis, and fitted out the bar of the Fitzwilliam Hotel in Belfast.

A spokesman said that Ireland-wide, the market was still sluggish, with Nama having the effect of stymieing development.

But he said the company, which banks with First Trust, had instead cornered the upper end of the overseas market, where demand was still buoyant. The spokesman added: "Our workmanship has a high profile and a reputation for being high quality.

"We also have a very productive workforce. They tend to be very hardworking in comparison with some of their counterparts and the quality is very good."

The family-run firm was set up by Colm O'Farrell in 1969 and is now run by his son Colm jr. It recently bought a new 10,000sq ft workshop next to its existing premises to cater for its increased workload.

Mr O'Farrell jr said: "As recent contract wins prove, we are able to compete with the very best around the world from our base in Portadown, and are now at a stage where we need to grow our footprint to meet growing global market demand.

"Our success to date can be attributed to the diverse range of skills and experience we have under a single roof as well as our continual focus on innovation and investment in sectoral expertise."

Dominic O'Neill of First Trust Bank said: "We are delighted to be able to support this local company's expansion plans which will enable them to meet that growing demand and to continue to compete on the global stage."

The fit-out business in Northern Ireland suffered a setback last month with the administration of Mivan and a loss of over 200 jobs. Its assets were bought by MJM, a fit-out company based in Newry.

However, Deluxe Group is unlikely to suffer any ill-effects from the emergence of a stronger MJM as the latter company concentrates on the marine sector.

Belfast Telegraph