Belfast Telegraph

SDC Trailers files £6m profit and reports no Brexit concerns

By Ryan McAleer

Co Antrim manufacturer SDC Trailers has reported pre-tax profits of £6m and says it doesn't expect Brexit to have any material change to its business.

Now part of Chinese company CIMC, the drop in profits for the Toome-based firm, compared with last year's figure, reflects its decision to align its financial reporting with its parent group.

The engineering firm recorded a turnover of £189m in the 12 months to March 31, 2017, with pre-tax profits of £10.6m for the period. Its latest report filed this week outlines a turnover of £122.2m for the ensuing nine months to December 31, 2017, with pre-tax profits at £6m.

The trailer manufacturer was bought by CIMC Vehicles two years ago.

In his strategic report with the accounts, SDC director Enda Cushnahan said: "Both the level of business and the period end financial position were considered satisfactory and the directors expect that the current level of activity will be sustained for the foreseeable future."

He added: "The directors do not expect any material change to the company's business as a result of the UK exiting the European Union as the primary market that the company serves remains the United Kingdom."

The report revealed that a blaze at its Toome plant in April 2017 had been restricted to one production area. "Production commenced the following week using temporary facilities pending installation of replacement production equipment," said Mr Cushnahan.

The director said the key issues facing the company surrounds the present economic environment, with market demand, competition and the cost of raw materials also high on the list.

"The company's management endeavour to mitigate these risks by implementing regular strategic and operational review with focus on innovation, production efficiencies, training and development of all employees and relationships with customers and suppliers," he said.

In August, SDC Trailers announced plans to create 50 new jobs as part of a £7m expansion at its Toome plant.

The company said the move had improved production capability and output, giving it the ability to increase output of trailers by 50% on a weekly basis.

Painting an optimistic picture of the firm's future in the latest report, Mr Cushnahan said: "The directors remain confident that the current level of performance will be sustained for the foreseeable future and its is the directors' intention to develop the current activities of the company."

The number of employees at SDC Trailers has been reported as 659 during the nine months to December 31, some 35 fewer than the 694 employees contained in the report for the 12 months of March 31, 2017.

The firm paid out £13.5m in salaries in the nine months to December 2017, with the highest paid director taking £396,000.

Belfast Telegraph

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