Turnover and profits fall at Armagh firm Cross Refrigeration
ARMAGH-based Cross Refrigeration has seen its turnover fall by almost £2 million in a "challenging" year for the company.
Cross, which supplies and installs commercial and industrial refrigeration and air conditioning units has seen its sales and profits fall for the year ending October 31, 2016.
After a 20 per cent fall in turnover from 2014 to 2015 the firm's annual accounts show a further fall of 13 per cent from £14 million to £12.2 million.
Sales were also down from £11.4 million to £9.9 million in the space of a year at firm, part of the overall Cross Group, headquartered in Cork.
Profits were down by 14 per cent from £2.7 million to £2.4 million in a difficult year for the Armagh company, although the gross margin has remained relatively unchanged from 2015 at 18.8 per cent.
Croos Refrigeration employs 38 people from its base at Hamiltonsbawn Road Industrial Estate, with its wage bill rising by 10 per cent over the year to £1.7 million.
The directors described the company results its position at the year end as "satisfactory", but said there were positive signs in 2017.
"The company has continued to provide high quality service to its customers with continued growth in certain sectors which has resulted in a similar gross profit percentage in the year to 2015. The directors continue to strive to achieve the highest quality work and ensure the company is being as cost effective as possible without affecting the final output service."
"The directors commented that 2016 has been a challenging year with a fall in turnover and profit. However they believe that there is potential for future growth in Northern Ireland and especially on the mainland UK. The directors remain focused on generating business growth and profitability into 2017 with the confirmation of new contracts," the business review stated.
Despite the optimism the company sees Brexit and political instability in the north as barriers to investment.
"The recent result of UK' referendum on membership of the European Union has created uncertainty that may delay investment.
"Also the current political instability in Northern Ireland, with the fall of the executive, new assembly elections and the uncertainty with the government's budget for 2017 is reducing the opportunity for government contracts within the construction industry."
The Cross Group is one of the largest refrigeration suppliers in Britain and Ireland. Founded in 1968, it has operations across Ireland and three in England. The group is a wholly owned subsidiary of Krossbow Holdings which is incorporated in the Republic