Belfast Telegraph

Millions invested in growth of Toome kitchen door specialist

From left: Simon Oliphant, Paul Donnelly and Eamon Donnelly from Uform
From left: Simon Oliphant, Paul Donnelly and Eamon Donnelly from Uform
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

A door supplier in Co Antrim which kits out 1,000 kitchens a week has secured a multi-million pound funding boost from its bank and an investor as it sets its sights on growth.

Uform, which is one of the biggest employers in Toomebridge, has won the support from Danske Bank and the BGF, an investor in small and mid-sized businesses.

The company, lead by Eamon and Paul Donnelly, designs and paints kitchen doors and accessories for customers across the UK and Ireland, and also sells ex-stock products.

It sells to all segments of the kitchen retail market, supplying over 1,000 kitchens a week to independent retailers through its brand Kitchen Stori.

Uform said it would use the investment to expand further into markets in the UK and the Republic.

Oakwood Door Designs, the company behind trading name Uform, reported pre-tax profits of £3.5m for the trading year ending April 30 2017, up from £2.4m, while turnover was up by around one-third to reach £29.3m.

According to its financial statements, the company has 175 members of staff, up from 136 the year before.

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BGF has provided around £40m in capital to Northern Ireland firms over the last three years. It has provided funding to housebuilder Braidwater, recycling company RiverRidge, coffee and food chain Bob & Berts and software developer AuditComply.

Eamon Donnelly, chief executive of Uform, said: "We started a four-phase growth strategy in 2013 and the business has grown rapidly in that time.

"We've invested heavily in doubling the size of our operation and installed state of the art paint lines to increase our productivity and product range.

"Uform is an ambitious company and we want to continue our pace of growth across the UK and Ireland in the coming years.

"BGF is a good match for our business and we have already built a very strong relationship with the BGF team - they have bought into our vision of where we want to take the business and the network they bring has opened up many opportunities not just here, but also across Great Britain.

"Their experience will ensure they help us scale the business, enhance our operational competencies and align our strategic plan to achieve the next few years' planned growth."

Patrick Graham, head of central Scotland and Northern Ireland at BGF, said: "Eamon and his team bring a wealth of experience and we look forward to helping unlock the company's potential to be number one in their sector. Uform has set itself an ambitious growth target for the next three years and we're delighted that BGF's investment will provide the catalyst to achieving those goals."

Geoff Sharpe, head of corporate at Danske Bank, said: "Danske Bank has a longstanding and successful relationship with Uform, having supported the growth of the business as strategic banking partner for over 25 years.

"Eamon, Paul and the senior management team are extremely passionate about their business and we are delighted to be supporting the future growth of the business together with BGF."

Belfast Telegraph