Profits fall by 35% at Derry based Seagate Technology

Seagate Technology has seen its pre tax profits fall by 35 per cent over the past year.
Gareth McKeown

DERRY-based electronics manufacturer Seagate Technology has seen its pre-tax profits fall by 35 per cent over the past year.

The company, which employs more than 1,400 people in the city, has seen its sales in Ireland fall by 15 per cent from £160 million) to £135 million), primarily due to reducing customer demand.

Profit for the financial year has plummeted by 63 per cent to £3.7 million, while pre tax profits have fallen from £15.3 million to £9.9 million in the year ending June 30 last year.

Seagate provides data storage solutions for companies across the world including read-write heads for hard disk drives.

In the strategic report accompanying the company accounts the directors said the fall in turnover was "primarily due to customer demand, resulting in lower internal build schedules and impacting operating profit".

"One-off redundancy expenditure further impacted operating margin, which decreased by 38 per cent," they added.

During the year staff numbers increased by one per cent from 1,395 to 1,404 at the firm, but last year company said it aimed to cut 14 per cent of its workers by the end of 2017.

To that end around 70 people at the Derry plant were made redundant early in the year.

Seagate, which is registered in the Cayman Islands, said that during 2016 the company "has continued to invest in its manufacturing capability of thin film recording head wafers, employing the very latest product and process technologies".

They further alleviated concerns over the long-term sustainability of the business.

"The directors believes there are no material uncertainties that cast significant doubt about the company's ability to continue as a going concern and the financial statements have been prepared on this basis."

Then based in California, the company first set up in Derry in 1992, making it one of the earlier foreign direct investment success stories for the north.

At its height it employed well over 2,000 in Co Derry including at a plant in Limavady (it closed in 2007).

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