Company Report: Caterpillar (NI)
Caterpillar (NI) designs, manufactures and assembles diesel and gas generating sets along with associated equipment. In 2018, the company produced 10,153 gensets, an increase of 10% when compared to 2017.
The company operates in its own premises in Springvale, Belfast and in the Larne factory (now modernised) that formerly housed AEI.
The turnover in the business fell in 2017. During 2018 output again increased and the scale of operating losses decreased. However, an overall trading loss was recorded.
Pre-tax results also improved slightly in 2018.
But the company report draws attention to a reversal of a previous impairment charge of £3.9m which was credited in 2018.
The improved results in 2018 are attributed to an increase in activity in the focused components business at the Springvale site.
The generator business has faced challenging market conditions, and profitability was impacted by additional costs linked to the consolidation of manufacturing on the Larne site.
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This adverse factor is expected to reduce in 2019 as efficiency gains are realised.
Commenting on the effect of Brexit, the company says that it supports maintaining unrestricted access to the Single Market and hopes to see continuing regulatory alignment with the EU.
The business continues to support a large R&D programme which in 2017 cost £8.8m followed by £7m in 2018.