Business

Lisburn manufacturer Smiley Monroe creating 12 new jobs

Pictured at Smiley Monroe in Lisburn are: head of operations, Wesley McAvoy; Chairman of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council's development committee, Allan Ewart and Tim Monroe, marketing director.

A LISBURN manufacturer that exports to 42 countries is creating 12 new jobs in a bid to move into further international markets.

Family-owned firm Smiley Monroe, is recruiting for 12 new positions as well as six replacement roles as part of ambitious growth plans. The company, which employs 149 staff at premises in Co Antrim and India, produces conveyor belts and custom cut parts for manufacturers (OEMs) of mobile crushing, screening, recycling, road construction and environmental equipment.

One of the fastest-growing businesses in the local area it hopes to set up a new base in North America in the near future.

Smiley Monroe marketing director, Tim Monroe said the firm is "actively seeking new markets".

"We are in the middle of a significant growth period and it is down to many factors including the ambition and drive of the business, the upturn in the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) market and the investment that we are injecting into the business. We are actively seeking new markets through global trade fairs and this is paying dividends. We already have a manufacturing facility in India and we have plans to have a permanent presence in North America, where the market is set to soar."

Smiley Monroe has two sites in Lisburn at Knockmore Hill Industrial Park and Hub2 in Lissue Industrial Estate. The latter is home to the firm's water jet cutting technology, which has led to an increase in production capacity and improved efficiencies.

"This, along with our new Enterprise Resource Planning software forms part of our wider strategy of growth. We are delighted to increase our workforce across many of the departments from marketing, technical and production."

Speaking at a recent visit to Smiley Monroe, Lisburn & Castlereagh City councillor Allan Ewart described the local firm as "inspiring".

"They have achieved significant growth not only in the Northern Ireland market but further afield in North America and right across the world, exporting to a total of 42 countries. With this growth comes new jobs, new training and investment in their employees and new technology."

"They are a great example of world-class manufacturing on our doorstep and the Council will support them in any way we can," he added.

Smiley Monroe is enjoying a period of unprecedented growth in its 38 year history, with the company reporting a 20 per cent increase in sales from £16 million in 2016 to £19 million this year. The firm has further projected this growth will continue into 2018.

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