Armstrong Medical to take on more staff as £1.2m Coleraine factory expansion is approved
A medical devices company has said around 21 new jobs could be created at its Coleraine base after it was granted planning approval for a £1.2m expansion of its factory.
Armstrong Medical, which supplies products for use in anaesthesia, respiratory and critical care, currently employs close to 140 people.
Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council has given the green light for a 26,000 sq ft extension of its 90,000 sq ft factory at Wattstown Business Park, where it has operated since 1994.
The company, which was founded in 1984 by John Armstrong, said: "It's envisioned that up to 21 new jobs could be created as a result of the new extension, taking the total work force close to 160 staff in what would be a boost to employment in the local fraternity."
Causeway Coast & Glens planning officials said the scale and design of the proposal was acceptable.
Planners also said the potential for new manufacturing jobs "would be of economic benefit to Coleraine and the wider context".
The last financial report published by Armstrong Medical revealed that while turnover held at £11.7m in the year to May 31, 2018, the company's pre-tax profits fell 52.8% to £0.75m last year.
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The firm said it had embarked on a strategic restructure of its senior management at the start of the last financial year.
"This exercise was not successful and the restructure was reversed by the end of the financial year," it admitted.
Armstrong Medical said £4.2m of its 2018 turnover was generated from the rest of the European Union, with £3.6m from the UK and £3.9m from the rest of the world.
Staffing levels had increased from 125 in 2017 to 135 last year.
Armstrong Medical also said it had entered into a strategic distribution partnership with a major international healthcare corporation towards the end of the 2017/18 financial year.
"The success of this partnership, together with organic growth, will deliver substantial uplift in sales in 2018/19 and future years," it said.
The company said it plans to continue with "significant" research and development projects to extend its product offerings in the areas of anaesthesia, respiratory and neonatal.
"The company is committed to reinvesting profits, with capital expenditure in the year exceeding operating profit. This reinvestment is for future product development and to increase production capacity to enable growth in sales."