Three Northern Ireland companies rank among best in UK for international sales

Construction and fit-out firm, mac-group has featured in The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200. Mac worked on the refurbishment of River House (pictured).
Gareth McKeown

THREE Northern Ireland companies have been named among the UK's best for international sales, according to new research.

Construction and fit-out firm, mac-group; blind manufacturer, Decora; and processing equipment manufacturer, CDE Global all featured in The Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200.

The 2019 league table, published on Sunday, ranks the UK's best performing mid-market private companies, with fastest-growing international sales measured over the latest two years of available accounts.

The three Northern Ireland companies, who collectively employ over 1,000 people, have all featured on the league table before and have been recognised for average international sales growth of 48 per cent a year.

Newry-based mac-group was the only entrant from the north in the top 100, coming in at 92 on the list.

The Co Down company has capitalised on the influx of US companies to Ireland, helping upgrade the Dublin offices of Oracle and Hewlett Packard. Repeat business in the Republic has also boosted international sales, the company's sole source of turnover, by 61 per cent a year to £94.7m in 2017

Decora Blinds of Lisburn placed 151 in the 200-strong rankings. The company, which employs 771 people and manufactures more than 30,000 blinds per week, grew overseas sales to £6.5m, almost 10 per cent of the £69.6m total for 2017.

Cookstown's CDE Global, which makes industrial processing machinery, has seen international sales jump by 38 per cent in two years to £47.7m in 2017, representing over three quarters of the firm's total sales (£61.9m).

CDE managing director, Brendan McGurgan said securing 169th place in the league table is testament to the pioneering solutions engineered by the company.

“This recognition comes during a period of significant growth as we continue to reinvest in the company. Last year, we opened our North America headquarters in Cleburne, Texas, to gain greater foothold in the market in North and South America. In the coming weeks we will officially open our new global headquarters in Mid-Ulster," he said.

Amanda Murphy, head of commercial banking at HSBC UK added:

"The three companies in Northern Ireland are the kinds of enterprises we are thrilled to support and that provide the backbone of our economy, today and tomorrow.”

The companies in Northern Ireland feature alongside well-known British brands, including BrewDog, now valued at over £1bn; and Charlotte Tilbury Beauty, founded by the Hollywood make-up artist.

This year is the 10th anniversary of International Track and alumni stars include Aston Martin, Specsavers, Fever-Tree and Lush.

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