Belfast Telegraph

Marine fit-out firm on course for turnover of £50m

By Margaret Canning

The fit-out firm which bought the assets of the troubled Mivan business, has said turnover in its marine arm is set to reach £50m in the next year.

MJM Marine in Newry is a global specialist in refurbishment and fit-out for the ship and commercial sectors.

Parent company MJM Group last year bought the assets of former fit-out firm Mivan in Antrim.

In its most recent results, MJM Marine said profit after tax had grown by 88% to £1.9m, while pre-tax profit was up 70% from £1.4m to £2.4m.

The company said: "The increased profits have been utilised by continued capital investment and the creation of enhanced liquidity renders the company capable of meeting world and economic challenges."

Turnover had also grown in the year to December 2014 from £28.6m to £38.7m - an increase of 35%.

And yesterday the firm said it expected turnover to grow by another 29% to £50m during 2015.

During 2014 the company had finished a multi-million project on Royal Carribean's Oasis of the Seas, one of the world's biggest cruise ships.

It has also carried out fit-out work for Carnival Cruise Lines, Residensea's The World, P&O Cruises and Star Cruises.

The company report said its 38% increase in turnover had been "a direct result of the group's continued efforts to be the customer's preferred partner in the marine, land and specialist joinery fields".

And it said the improved performance also reflected the efficiency of its premises in Newry, where it would also be increasing capacity during 2015.

The company said it was projecting the turnover to increase to £50m after boosting the expertise of its engineers through a knowledge transfer partnership with Ulster University. The tie-in enabled it to develop advanced, lighter materials which could cope in extreme conditions - and ultimately reduce the weight of a ship's fit-out by around 50%.

That provides fuel savings for customers and reduces the carbon footprint of cruise ships.

Ulster University graduate Edward Fitzpatrick joined MJM as part of the knowledge transfer partnership, and now has a full-time job with the company as a research and development manager.

Mr Fitzpatrick said: "Around 85% of our products are exported and therefore any cost of poor quality is significant due to the global nature of the organisation.

"The knowledge transfer partnership has allowed us to access engineering knowledge from Ulster University and to think more scientifically about our product development, which has improved quality control and dramatically reduced the cost of non-conformance."

The company was set up in 1983 as a family-run firm and now employs around 145 people.

Last year it completed a refurbishment of the Oasis of the Seas over a two-week period in Rotterdam in Holland.

Mivan in Antrim went into administration and closed down in January last year, with the loss of 250 jobs.

But MJM Group acquired the premises, assets and trading name a month later, and now employs around 100 people, many of whom are former Mivan employees.

Mivan had carried out work on many famous developments including One Hyde Park in London, Wembley Stadium, The Trafford Centre in Manchester, The Bulgari Hotel in London, The Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar and The Dome of the Rock Shrine in Jerusalem.

Mivan operates as a separate entity within MJM.

Belfast Telegraph