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Northern Ireland flagship firm Glen Dimplex jobs being cut as roles moved to Republic


Founder: Glen Dimplex founder Martin Naughton

Founder: Glen Dimplex founder Martin Naughton

Founder: Glen Dimplex founder Martin Naughton

Manufacturing giant Glen Dimplex is shifting some of its Northern Ireland operations to the Republic with the loss of around 20 jobs, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

The world's largest electric heating and renewable energy business, which employs some 10,000 people worldwide, has its roots in Newry, Co Down.

However, it's understood the firm is making 19 staff in its Portadown site redundant, and moving some of those operations to the Republic. Staff in Portadown are involved in the manufacture of components.

It's also understood some sales staff may be affected and it is not yet clear whether they will be redeployed elsewhere.

The company has not yet revealed the reason for the move, or whether the decision comes following the UK vote for Brexit. Just last week, the company tweeted that "Glen Dimplex NI is soon to become Glen Dimplex Ireland". The Glen Dimplex NI account has since been suspended.

Glen Dimplex was founded by Martin Naughton as a heating appliances firm with just seven workers in Newry during the height of the Troubles in 1973.

The businessman has since grown the company into a global giant, with the Glen Dimplex Group now employing more than 10,000 staff across 22 manufacturing facilities spread all over the world.

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Pre-tax profits at Glen Electric Ltd more than halved last year to £19.35m.

Glen Electric, in Newry, is estimated to account for around half of Dublin-based Glen Dimplex's overall business, and new figures show that the chief reason behind the sharp drop in pre-tax profits was the firm making charitable donations of £18.3m last year.

The decision to cut some of its operations here comes after Northern Ireland pharmaceutical giant Almac revealed earlier this year that plans to open a new premises in the Republic was a direct result of Brexit.

Craigavon-based Almac told a House of Commons committee that it had not been in a position to wait and see the outworkings of the UK departure from the EU.

No one from Glen Dimplex responded when contacted for comment.

Just last month, pharma giant Almac said it decided to open up a facility in Dundalk to provide reassurance to export customers that its access to the single market would continue following Brexit.

Almac announced in January that it will make a multi-million pound investment in the new facility at IDA Business Park in Dundalk.

The expansion has been supported by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation through IDA Ireland, Ireland's inward investment promotion agency.

And it comes as Northern Ireland businesses are being sought for a business park based north of Dublin.

John Carrigan of Cushman & Wakefield, joint agents for the CityNorth Business Park development, said he had noticed an increase in activity within the park, particularly from Northern Ireland companies.

And he said this was in part due to the UK's preparations to leave the EU following the Brexit referendum vote.

He added, however, that many companies were also looking to "improve links" with the Republic.