Tyrone firm lands £1m deal with the Saudis
A family-owned business has struck export gold after securing a £1m deal to make trailers for one of Saudi Arabia's biggest firms.
Muldoon Transport Systems, which has been in business for around 30 years and employs 50 people in Dungannon, will supply trailers to poultry business Almarai in Hail, near Riyadh.
They will be used to move poultry from the company's farms to a £1bn processing plant, described as one of the biggest and most modern of its kind in the Middle East.
Company director Justin Muldoon said: "This is an immensely important contract for us and followed an initial approach from Almarai to see if we would be interested in working with them on the development of a trailer to their specifications that included an innovative loading system.
"We jumped at the opportunity to work with such a prestigious company even though it was in a market that we didn't know much about and had not done business there before."
He said Muldoon's reputation in trailer design and manufacture left the Saudi firm "keen to do business" and that the Dungannon company responded quickly, offering to make 19 trailers to its specifications.
"We were able to respond quickly to Almarai's requirements because of our long-standing focus on research and development, which has increased our flexibility in the markets in which we operate.
"Our precision engineering operation also enables us to produce all components and parts required in-house and thereby ensures consistent quality."
The company also received the help of Invest NI: "Staff in Belfast and Saudi Arabia were extremely supportive and helped us in key areas including arranging visas and other paperwork.
"This support made doing business there much easier."
Muldoon takes part in an Invest NI mission to Saudi Arabia this week.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster visited the company's premises where she congratulated them on an "exceptional achievement".
She added: "The contract is a further demonstration of just how competitive Northern Ireland companies, especially smaller businesses like Muldoon Transport Systems, can be when they invest the time and other essential resources to explore the substantial business opportunities still growing strongly in global markets such as Saudi Arabia."
The minister added that Invest NI would continue to encourage companies to look to new markets such as Saudi Arabia, India and Brazil.