Record performance for Ulster Carpets as sales climb to £76m
Northern Ireland manufacturer Ulster Carpets has reported nearly a 60% increase in pre-tax profits to £10.4m in its latest results.
The Portadown-based luxury carpet-maker, owned by the Wilson family, has a client list including casinos and high-end hotels in Dubai and the US.
Sales were up 11.5% to £76m in the 12 months to the end of March this year, in what the company said was another record performance.
In a statement accompanying the accounts, chairman Edward Wilson said the growth was "all the more commendable" as the firm believed in charging higher prices than competitors to reflect the real cost of design and manufacturing. Mr Wilson's parents Jean and George Walter founded the company 70 years ago.
"Our customers do... tend to recognise and appreciate that Ulster Carpets offers a unique blend of design and product expertise, together with a long record of reliability in deliveries and after-sales service," he said.
The firm said operating under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules was proving no obstacle to success as it filed the accounts at Companies House.
It is expected that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the UK would revert to trading under WTO arrangements with other countries.
Edward Wilson added that the decline in value of sterling since Brexit had "on balance proved beneficial".
Group managing director Nick Coburn told the Belfast Telegraph: "The increase in sales and significant uplift in profits are the result of a highly committed and long-term focus on exporting our products all over the world. In the past year we have made further major investments into new export markets as the company plans for the next 10 years and beyond.
"It is also interesting to note that our biggest export markets trade under WTO rules and we deal with those requirements with ease and are no impediment to successful business activity."
The company employs 666 people.