MJM secures £4m deal to fit out ferry
A Newry fit-out firm has fought off stiff international competition to win a major €5m (£4.16m) contract with a Scandinavian ferry company — a deal which could help create at least 16 new jobs.
MJM Group, founded in 1983, has grown staffing levels from 74 to 118 and has more than trebled turnover to over £30m in the last three years.
Following a successful project on the Stena superfast ferry, the firm will now fit out a vessel for the Scandline firm, with work taking place in February and March.
Managing director Jonathan Guest said that the firm no longer carries out any work in Ireland and that foreign markets are proving to be much more lucrative.
“We beat off pretty stiff competition from international competitors to win this work,” he said.
“As a result we will be able to develop our capabilities and are looking to hire ten new people on the shop floor and a further six full-time positions as a result of winning this contract.
“Our main markets are now in America and Europe. I joined the company three years ago and we no longer do any work in Ireland north or south, it was the road to nowhere.
“We no longer even quote or tender here. The margins are not big enough, the security of payment is not strong enough, the work was coming in in bits and pieces and it was not viable.
“We still deliver land-based work in the UK.”
Employment and Learning Minister Stephen Farry said: “The hard work that MJM have put into securing and delivering these recent contracts has positioned them as a major global contractor in the cruise ferry market.
“I particularly point to the company’s use of my department’s ApprenticeshipsNI programme which has allowed delivery of high quality training to ensure MJM maintains competitive advantage in the current economic climate.
“Their success demonstrates the ability of Northern Ireland-based companies to be competitive in international markets.”
MJM has also worked with big names including Carnival Cruise Lines, Cunard, Holland America and Royal Caribbean.
Turnover which has |been more than trebled in the last three years